We have a Petition by the Chairperson of the Committee on National Cohesion, Equal Opportunities and Regional Intergration, but Sen. Shiyonga is not in. Therefore, we shall defer the Petition to another date.
Let us go to the next Order.
Sen. Seneta, on behalf of the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Health, please, proceed.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I beg to give Notice of Motion-
THAT, the Senate adopts the Report of the Standing Committee on Health on the alleged negligence of the late Prof. Ken Walibora prior to his death at the Kenyatta National Hospital, laid on the Table of the Senate on Tuesday, 30th March 2021.
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Madam Temporary Speaker, I beg to give Notice of Motion-
THAT, the Senate adopts the First Progress Report of the Standing Committee on Health on the COVID-19 pandemic situation in Kenya, laid on the Table of the Senate on Tuesday, 30th March, 2021.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I beg to give Notice of Motion- THAT, the Senate adopts the Second Progress Report of the Standing Committee on Health on the COVID-19 situation in Kenya and preliminary findings of the Committee, on the Special Audit Report on the Utilization of COVID-19 funds by County Governments, laid on the Table of the Senate on Tuesday, 30th March, 2021.
Sen. Seneta, you still have more. Can you check on the next page?
Madam Temporary Speaker, I beg to give Notice of Motion- THAT, the Senate adopts the Third Progress Report of the Standing Committee on Health on the COVID-19 situation in Kenya and preliminary findings on the nationwide COVID-19 vaccine rollout, laid on the Table of the Senate on Tuesday, 21st September, 2021.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I beg to give Notice of Motion- THAT, the Senate adopts the Fourth Progress Report of the Standing Committee on Health on the COVID-19 pandemic situation and the implementation of the Nationwide COVID-19 vaccine deployment, laid on the Table of the Senate on Thursday, 2nd December, 2021.
Thank you. We move to the next Order. These are Statements pursuant to Standing Order 47(1). Sen. Khaniri, please, proceed.
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Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. It is actually Standing Order 47(1), not 41(7), thank you. I thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker, for the opportunity. I rise, pursuant to Standing Order 47 (1) to make a Statement on a matter of county-wide concern on the incomplete Mbale beautification programme in Vihiga County, which has become a health hazard causing injuries and death. The World Bank (Sen. WB) through the Kenya Urban Support Programme (KUSP) released Kshs200 million towards the second phase of beautification of Mbale Town in Vihiga County on 3rd June, 2020. This programme entailed the construction of footpaths, erection of high-mast floodlights and street lighting from Lunyerere to Majengo along the Kisumu- Kakamega Highway and rehabilitation of the drainage systems in Mbale. The intention of this programme was to upgrade Mbale Town to city status. It was intended that a lot of focus would be put on the improvement of the town’s drainage system as it was in a dire state. This project was to be completed in a year since its launch. While the project’s main goal was to improve drainage by constructing a securer slab covered drainage system, so as to enable pedestrians to walk over, none of these developments have been witnessed almost two years down the line. The residents of Mbale Town are still complaining and are quite dissatisfied now more than ever as the open drainage has caused deaths and numerous injuries among the residents. Just a weeks ago, a young man of 30 years lost his life after he fell into the open ditch while trying to jump across a trench. This is not the only death that has occurred due to the open drainage. Over the past three years, three more adults and a child have lost their lives due to these open trenches. Besides injuries and deaths, this open drainage system is posing as a health hazard to the people as open sewage is flowing uncovered. It is not a rare site to see dead decaying cats and dogs being swept through the system, not to mention visible human defecation matter. This being an area where trade is conducted, human traffic is quite common and thus posing as a health risk to residents and visitors as the open drainage can cause disease outbreaks such as cholera and typhoid. I have been made aware that in this coming week, a protest by the Mbale Business Community Group will be conducted against the open drainage. Rightly so, because if simple projects as this cannot be properly done for our people, yet all the necessary resources have been availed, how can they trust us with the bigger projects? We cannot have projects being done halfheartedly at the expense of our people. Madam Temporary Speaker, it would be my wish, therefore, that every person who was in charge of this project explain to us - the residents of Mbale and the people of
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Vihiga County why this project was not given the 100 per cent effort it deserved. We need answers on the details of the contractors and the county government officials who were responsible for this programme. This is a very important and simple project and so for it to be done in such a shoddy manner, is quite unfair and disheartening, especially because Kshs200 million was released for its smooth implementation to completion. These are the kinds of cases that give devolution a bad image among citizens. It is quite saddening that the Governor of Vihiga County and the County Executive have failed to give Mbale Town its befitting status as Vihiga’s headquarters. I would also like a step-by-step breakdown on how this Kshs200 million was utilized. Madam Temporary Speaker, it is my hope that this issue is accorded the importance it deserves and be completed with utmost urgency. We cannot keep letting our people down like this. I thank you.
I will allow few comments on this. Sen. Cherargei, you may have the Floor.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I congratulate Sen. Khaniri my neighbour and the incoming Governor of Vihiga County for bringing this Statement. I do not know why Sen. Kwamboka is smiling. Sen. Khaniri is part of Azimio la Umoja. I remember my County Assembly of Nandi did an investigation on KUSPs. It is unfortunate that there are deaths. I challenge the Committee that in one of its recommendations, some of the senior county officials in Vihiga County must be prosecuted for negligence and losing sacred lives. I hope the Committee is listening very carefully. Lives are very important. These donations are supposed to help our people to get better access to roads, improvement of access to water and electricity. These are donors that have given money through the support programme. We have had these issues also in audit queries when the counties appear. It is the same thing in Nandi County. We got a lot of funding up to around Kshs500 million from KUSPs, through National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NAGRIP) among other organisations. That informed our decision to pass The County Grants Bill. This is because we needed to ring-fence that money. Those donations that were being given to counties through KUSP, NAGRIP and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) were being misused by county governments and governors. It is good the Senate went ahead and passed the law that now ring-fenced Kshs39 billion. You remember before we passed the law, most such as my governor would go to public barazas and say no money had been released, yet it is the money given through donation, that is, Kshs39 billion. He is lying to the people of Nandi County without telling them that Equalization Fund has been released. When we became wiser as the Senate, we passed the law. Now, we have a legal framework where they must be held accountable for the money that is meant to assist the people of Vihiga, Nandi, Nairobi counties and across the nation. I hope we will be seized of this matter.
Madam Temporary Speaker, we expect that before we go for the adjournment, at least in the next one or two weeks, we should know what really happened with those funds. If it is possible, the county government must tell us what they are doing. Is there proper signage to prevent further deaths and fatalities in that region? When we investigated in Nandi County, for example, there was a huge misuse and abuse of resources. The contractor refused to appear before the County Assembly of Nandi County simply because he is connected to the governor. Even two dogs cannot fit side by side in the footpath that has been constructed in Kapsabet Town. My neighbour, Sen. Khaniri, knows that it is so rainy in Kapsabet Town and Nandi County in general. Three quarters of the footpath that was funded by World Bank has been swept by water. It is so sad. The reason that footpath was constructed is to avoid pedestrians being knocked down by motorists. We know the road in Kapsabet in one way or another has been congested and it needs expansion. When you see county governments misusing money that has been received as a donation, then there is a problem. I hope the Committee and the people of Vihiga will get justice. It is not about the Senator or this House, it is about the people of Vihiga and they must be given justice. I support and thank you.
Asante sana, Bi Spika wa Muda kwa kunipa nafasi hii kuchangia huu Mswada wa Sen. Khaniri. Huu Mswada ni kitu ya maana sana kwa sababu hili janga si la Kaunti la Vihiga pekee yake; hii ni janga ambayo inaegemea kaunti zote kwa sababu hii Misaada inatolewa lakini kazi huwa haifanyiki kwa njia nzuri. Ukiangalia hii kazi ya mataa kwenye mabarabara utapata hii mataa inawekwa kwa njia isiyofaa. Unapata mataa mengi yanazima. Mataa yakizima mambo ya usalama katika kaunti zetu inakuwa mbovu kwa sababu hapo ndipo tunawezapata hawa vijana wahalifu, wanakuja kuvamia watu na maboma.
ni mbaya na mara nyingi tunapata watoto wetu na akina mama wakikanyaga maji taka ambayo inatoka kwa hiyo drainage system. Hii ni hasara kwetu kwa sababu unahitaji pesa pia kwenda kugharamia katika mahospitali. Wakati huu swala ni: Gavana wa Kaunti ya Vihiga anafanya kazi gani kwa sababu wakati huu anafaa kuwa amemaliza kazi kwa sababu tunaelekea muhula mwingine na uchaguzi mwingine? Inafaa kila gavana anayechaguliwa katika kila kaunti ahakikishe ile pesa inatoka katika Serikali ya Kitaifa kuteremka huko kwenye kaunti inafanya kazi inavyopaswa kufanyika. Hii pesa sio ya magavana wala mawaziri, ni pesa yetu sisi Wakenya na kama inakuja kwenye kaunti wacha ifanye kazi ambayo inastahili kufanyika. Bi Spika wa Muda, ningeomba hii Statement ikienda kwenye kamati, waweze kuingalia vizuri na kama watapata muda waende kule wahakikishe kuangalia kama ilifanyika ama haikufanyika. Kama haikufanyika wachukue hatua inayotakikana ili iwe funzo kwa magavana wote wa kaunti, ili wafanyie Wakenya kazi kwa njia ipasavyo. Asante Bi Spika wa Muda.
Kiswahili mufti kabisa. Proceed, Sen. Seneta.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I want from the outset to congratulate the Senator of Vihiga County for having thought about this very important Statement. This Statement does not just address Vihiga County, but also many other counties are facing the same problem. I wish the Senator could have done two Statements on the same, so that they can be addressed properly by two Committees. What I see here is an issue with the budget, how much money was allocated to this programme and also the issue of designs. How was this drainage design done? Was it done properly? Was it well planned? I hear it was done poorly. There is also the issue of transparency on the work that was done as well as the quality of the work done, which I think should go to the County Public Accounts and Investment Committee (CPAIC), which can investigate that. This is also an environmental issue that should be investigated by the Committee on the Environment. Many of our urban areas are facing the same problem of open drainage causing health hazard in our towns. For example, when he was explaining the issue, I was comparing the picture of this Mbale Town to Kitengela Town that is a few kilometers from Nairobi. All landlords are facing the same problem because they own houses in areas, which no proper drainage just like in Kitengela, where there is no drainage system. Some people are draining the waste onto the roads; some are fetching the waste every month, which is very costly and also a health hazard even to our children who are playing everywhere, especially when it rains. This is a town where many of our small traders spend many hours working to put food on their tables. A clean environment is a constitutional right. You need to have a clean environment in order to do your own work. The Kenya Urban Support programs have gone a long way in helping many of our counties, but these need to be properly audited. Many of our taxpayers are paying money to support these programmes, but you find that they collaborate with the county staff and they end up doing shady work. Some of this work is either not finished or is poorly done. The Committee that will handle this matter should address this matter urgently because it is a concern to many Members here. I support this Statement.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I rise to support this Statement by Sen. Khaniri and congratulate him on all the topical issues he brings to this House, which always help the rest of us because issues like these are prevalent across all our counties. We do not want to hijack it of course by riding over it, but allow us to just use this platform to also look at some of the unfinished projects that are posing health hazards and many different things to our people. As Sen. Khaniri has put it, this project has been financed by the World Bank, which means money is not an issue. We are, therefore, wondering why with projects that money is available, things are left undone and how we, as this House, we are going to make sure that this kind of negligence that is taking lives and bringing diseases and suffering to our people, not to mention the social and economic problems that it has brought, because I am sure traders in that neighbourhood---
I do not know what is happening to the microphones, but I think it is back now.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I was saying that we cannot be told there are budgetary constraints, especially with projects that have good source of financing such as the World Bank and other development partners. The World Bank, through the Kenya Urban Support Programme (KUSP), also works in Isiolo County. Similar things are being witnessed where projects have been ongoing for so long. In the past, partner finance projects saw the light of day. If partner finance projects are not seeing the light of day now, what are we saying? Our counties have stalled projects. Have our counties now become places where we start projects to hoodwink the population into thinking the county is working; when, in fact, nothing is being done even for projects for which money is available? It is incumbent upon this House to protect devolution. This is under Article 96 of our Constitution. This House is supposed to protect counties and their governments. By extension, the Senate is also supposed to protect the people in the counties. We need to make sure we look at these things. There are projects which have been ongoing for 17 years. In Isiolo County, for example, the abattoir has been under construction for the last 17 years. What is this? A project has been ongoing in two different systems of governments. The project is now under devolved system of governance, even though it started before with partner financing. I am not going to say it is the World Bank, even though I suspect it is. It started before devolution. Two different systems of government exchange the parliamentary cycle and nothing has been done. This House needs to start looking at these things. We need to fight for resources to go downstream to provide to the frontline of service delivery. If we do not, then we are wasting our time talking and not achieving results. This Statement should be directed to the Committee on Lands, Environment and Natural resources or Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industrialization. These are some of the things that we need to do. Perhaps after this is dealt with, this House - even if it is in the next Parliament - should ensure there is an audit of all projects that have stalled. It is becoming a drain in the economy, a health hazard and a facade. In Isiolo County, from the airport, to the abattoir, to the Market and the stadium are flagship projects that could have changed the lives of the people. These are big projects that are looking at different sectors such as the livestock sector which is the main livelihood of our people. The county does not have an abattoir. The construction of the first one started 17 years ago and it is yet to be completed. An international airport is under construction and we told that it will open the northern frontier district to international trade. It is not working because only 1.4 kilometres of the tarmac has been done and the rest has stalled. The market that burned four years ago is still being done. This market was started before the fire. Madam Temporary Speaker, the issue of stalled projects is now becoming a drain on the Exchequer. As we pump more money to county governments, we must make sure stalled projects are dealt with and an audit of the same is done. There has to be a
consequence for those who have not done this work. At what point does Government ensure that performance or negligence has a consequence? For as long as there is no consequence, nothing will be done. People tell us tell us that while abroad, you cannot drive carelessly because people are very disciplined. It is because there is a consequence to not doing the right thing or not performing. Nonetheless, in a country where there is no consequence, what on earth will make anybody - be it a governor, County Executive Committee (CEC) Member - to do anything? This impunity must be dealt with by this House. This is the House under whose mandate this impunity can be fixed. I support the Statement and hope that we will see something being done about this. Even though the Statement is under Standing Order No.47(1), it should be assigned to a Committee to get to the bottom of it.
I see no further request on this one. Therefore, the Statement is committed to the relevant Committee of the House. We move to the next Order. The next Statement is by the Chairperson, Standing Committee on Energy to be read by Sen. Abdul Haji.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I rise pursuant to Standing Order No.51(1)(b) to make a Statement on the activities of the Standing Committee on Energy for the period commencing January, 2022 to April, 2022. During the period under review, the Committee considered several statements and is currently considering one Petition. At the moment, there are no Bills pending before the Committee. With regard to Statements, pursuant to Standing Order 48(1), at the sitting of the Senate held on 10th March, 2022, Sen. (Dr.) Isaac M. Mwaura CBS, MP, requested for a Statement from the Committee concerning the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Felix Odhiambo. The Ministry of Energy provided a response which was shared with the Senator. In their response, the Ministry of Energy indicated that investigations into the incident had revealed that Mr. Felix Odhiambo was not an employee of Kenya Power and that he was undertaking illegal activities on Kenya Power’s Overhead Power System at Mwihoko area where he, unfortunately, was electrocuted, and later on, succumbed to injuries on 18th Jan, 2022. Currently, DCI officers at Githurai Police Station are doing an inquiry. Madam Temporary Speaker, the Committee also followed up on several statements; one sought by Sen. Cherargei concerning the malpractices by players in the Energy sector, including suppliers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). The other one was sought by Sen. Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. on the sharp rise in fuel prices, imposed by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA). The Committee is currently considering a response from the office of the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Mining on a Petition submitted by Consumers
Federation of Kenya (COFEK) regarding the Open Tender System (OTS) on fuel supply. The Committee undertakes to table the report by the end of this session. Madam Temporary Speaker, as I conclude, the Committee has scheduled an inquiry into the recent fuel crisis that brought the country to a standstill, causing great distress to Kenyans and negatively affecting the economy. The Inquiry is aimed at unearthing the real cause of the fuel shortage. Further, from the findings, the Committee intends to make recommendations with a view to avert a similar crisis in future.
I shall now allow a few comments. Sen. Cherargei, proceed.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I thank Sen. Abdul Haji for bringing the Committee Statement. One of the statements mentioned has not been addressed fully. My Statement was on the investigation on the concerted effort by the regulator and the DCI to close some of the retail businesses that manufacture liquefied gas in the country. The Committee has not invited me to get the feedback nor the response from EPRA. The DCI, in conjunction with some people within African Institute--- normally go to the outskirts of the City and intimidate people who run industries that deal with LPG gases. The reason we encourage Kenyans to use gas is because we want to protect our forests and our environment. We want a clean environment. You and I come from counties where women still cook using firewood. This continues to destroy the forests and makes life very hard.
That issue was never addressed fully. I hope you give directions to Sen. Haji and his Committee to relook at the issue I raised. This is because nothing has been done. It is sad when they conduct crackdowns using the DCI. If you have a gas plant in Mombasa, Kisumu or Bungoma, they bring the lorry and other installments to DCI headquarters. There is a case that is active in court. For example, if the case is in Eldoret, how do you bring the evidence to DCI headquarters, yet the case is in another jurisdiction?
Madam Temporary Speaker, as a learned senior, you know better. How can a magistrate prosecute a matter where the evidence is elsewhere? These are things that the Committee should relook at and recommend accordingly. The ever-rising cost of fuel in the country has significantly led to the rising cost of living. We have seen demonstrations across the country. People assume that it is only in North Eastern, Turkana and other areas like Upper Eastern where people are suffering from hunger. In fact, it is worse in Nairobi. Many people in the slums, the urban poor, cannot afford a meal. Majority of the people in this city are going hungry because of the cost of living. For example, the cost of bread, cooking oil and fuel prices have gone up. It is not interesting to see people in Nairobi walking to their work stations because they cannot afford transport from where they are coming from. It shows that the cost of fuel has continued to affect the cost of living. If the cost of fuel goes up, the matatus have no option, but to raise the fare. It is a fallacy of life because people are not walking to work because they like it. It is because
they cannot afford the fare. Those with cars go walking in Nyayo Stadium or run around their estates in the morning to cut weight. It is the fallacy of life. The point is that the cost of fuel keeps the cost of living high. I hope the Committee has an exit report which will be its last report. It should recommend to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), in all honesty and fairness, to try and arrest the ever-rising cost of fuel in the country. We are being told it is pegged on the dollar and the Ukraine crisis. However, the cost of fuel was high even before the Ukraine and Russia war.
In as much as we receive reports and analyze them, we expect the Committee to give policy and legislative interventions that can guard and ring-fence Kenyans. I want to confirm that the Government of Kenya Kwanza, God-willing form September, will try and fix some of these things and ensure the cost of living comes down. We will ensure everybody in Nairobi, especially the urban poor, together with those in North-Eastern and any part of that region, do not go to bed hungry.
I hope the Committee on Energy has noted my concerns and will allow me to get the feedback. We had gone for nominations and may be they invited me when I was not around. Now that nominations are behind us, they can be courteous enough so that I can look at the responses that they provided.
Sen. Haji, on behalf of the Committee and its Chairperson, you have heard the concerns by Sen. Cherargei. I have seen you have made a request. I am advising the Chairperson to take note of the concerns of the Hon. Senator who made the Statement so that they can conclude on the concerns Sen. Seneta, kindly proceed.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I thought I should first raise my concerns so that Sen. Haji can take note on behalf of his Chairperson. Although it is a period of campaigns for our colleagues, I have a lot of respect for the Chairperson and Members of the Committee on Energy. This is because I was at one time the Vice-Chairperson of this Committee. So, I have a lot of respect for them. However, the Committee on Energy should address the rising prices of fuel. Many Kenyans will park their cars in their homes and will be unable to travel to different parts of the country because of high fares as a result of the high cost of fuel. I urge my colleague, Sen. Haji, to come up with a Statement to urgently summon the Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Petroleum and Mining to explain to Kenyans why we are in this situation. It was the other day that fuel prices went up and now this week. This will cause a rise in the cost of foodstuff and transport. My colleague, Sen. Haji with his Committee have a lot of questions to answer and present to the House on what the Ministry is doing.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker. I am a Member of the Committee. However, there are a number of things that had not been concluded by the time of tabling this report. As you may be aware, the Committee has been summoning the CS, EPRA and other stakeholders with regards to the rising cost of fuel. You all know that the issue of fuel cost has been ongoing for a very long time. A fuel levy had been put
in place to make sure that the market shocks are dealt with. As a Committee, we have been on it. This new rise, that has become too much, has made us call the CS. A letter went out two weeks ago, but unfortunately, hon. Members were away. I am happy that Sen. Cherargei understands this. There was a physical meeting that was called, but we could not sit because of the constraints of time and other things that are going on. On behalf of our Committee and the Chairperson, as a Member, we take responsibility for this. I assure the House that if the answers were not satisfactory, it is because the process is on-going. I know many Committees have had a number of delays because of the competing priorities. Therefore, we would like to assure Sen. Cherargei and other Members that have sought Statements from our Committee that we are on it. We apologize for some of the delays and we will give you a comprehensive answer in the next few days. We are time bound and we realize that. Madam Temporary Speaker, the one person I know is really keen on ensuring that Kenyans through Senators get satisfactory answers to their Statements is our Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson and Sen. Haji who are here. We had divided ourselves into s ub-committees to take care of some of these things. I assure the House that this is work that is going on. Please, bear with us and g ive us a little bit more time and we will be back to this House with satisfactory answers for you. I also have a question before the Committee that we are working on. Madam Temporary Speaker, I would like to reassure you and Kenyans that we are on this and as soon as we able to sit physically, which is planned for this week, we will get back to you. I thank you.
I think that answers Sen. Cherargei’s and Sen. Seneta’s concerns. We will expect to hear from the Committee. Next, Sen. Kwamboka will read a statement on the activities of the Standing Committee National Security, Defence and Foreign Relation s on behalf of the Chairperson of that Committee.
Madam Temporary Speaker, allow me to read the Statement of the Standing Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations pursuant to Standing Order 51(1)(b) relating to the activities for the period from January to April 2022. I rise pursuant Standing Order 51(b) to make a Statement on the activities of the Standing Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations for the period commencing 1st January to 31st March, 2022.
Madam Temporary Speaker, during the short period under review the Committee held a total of five sittings and dealt with two Petitions. (1) The Committee considered and approved the Petition Report regarding the alleged murder of environmentalist and conservationist, Ms. Joanna Stutchburry, which was brought to the Senate by Sen. Halake on 4th August, 2021 and was laid on the Senate,
on Thursday, 10th February, 2022. In the Report, the Committee made far - reaching recommendations regarding the murder including: - (i) That the Inspector General (IG) of Police and t he Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) investigates the individual s who were constructing a road through a protected riparian that is swampy area. (ii) That the IG and DCI investigates whether the death of the conservationist was linked to opposition to the construction of the road through a protected riparian area and file a r eport with the Senate on the same. (iii) That the Ministry of Lands and the National Lands Commission (NLC) revokes excision of parts of Kiambu Forest and reverts all the titles to Kiambu F orest. (iv) That the DCI investigates all grants or dispositions of Kiambu forests to establish their propriety or legality and forward a r eport on the same before the lapse of this Parliaments life. (v) That Parliament reviews the NLC mandate on all grants or disposition of public land to establish their propriety or legality. Madam Temporary Speaker, the Committee considered and approved the Petition regarding the rising insecurity in Laikipia County on Thursday 24th February, 2022. The prayer by the Petitioners were: - (i)A recommendation that there be immediate deployment of more security personnel to enforce law and order in Laikipia West Constituency. (ii) A recommendation through its Report that there be recruitment of more National Police Reservist (NPR) officers who should be fully equipped and to which the Committee has addressed effectively and made its recommendations. The Report should be laid on the Table within the next two weeks. (3) Madam Temporary Speaker, the Committee intends to carry out the following activities during the next quarter: (i) Hold a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary (CS), Ministry of Interior and Co- ordination of National Government to address the l egislative b usiness before the Committee including the following 10 Statements: - (a) Statement sought by Sen. Kwamboka, CBS, regarding the state of police stations in the country. (b) Statement sought by Sen. Kwamboka regarding the status of the inquest into the murder of Mrs. Margaret Wanjiru by a British Army Officer. (c) Statement sought by Sen. Ngugi regarding the frequent fire incidents at Gikomba Market and the adverse effect of the fires on the micro-businesses. (d)Statement sought by Sen. Wambua regarding the continued delay in the allocation of sub-county code to the Tharaka-Thagichu Sub-County in Kitui. (e)Statement sought by Sen. Iman regarding the state of insecurity in Northern and Northern Eastern c ounties. (f) Statement sought by Sen. Faki regarding the abductions, detention and forced disappearance s in Mombasa County and the country in general. (g) Statement sought by Sen. Olekina regarding the influx of person of Asian origin into the country. (h) Statement sought by Sen. (Dr.) Ali regarding the abductions and disappearance of citizens in Wajir County on Thursday, 10th February, 2022.
(i) Statement sought by Sen. Sakaja, CBS, MP, regarding the arbitrary killings of innocent boda boda riders in Nairobi City County. (j) Statement sought by Sen. Kihika, MP, regarding the fatal shooting of Mr. Simon by officers from the Kenya Coast Guard Services at Karagita Area in Naivasha. I thank you, Madam Temporary Speaker.
Let us have a few comments. I can see a request by Sen. Halake.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I would like to thank Sen. Kwamboka for presenting this. However, I am a bit disappointed with the Committee. If there is one committee whose work is urgent, which involves life and death, the rule of law and disintegration of our country should we not be on top of things, then it is this Committee. I was sad when she read out the request I made to the Committee dated 4th August, 2021. That was about murder of a conservationist. It does not really matter that she was a conservationist but it was about murder of one of our citizens. She was supposed to be safe. Life is important. Many others were involved in the lives of the citizens we lost. If lives cannot cause urgency for us, what on earth would cause urgency for this House? Madam Temporary Speaker, I was excited when I sought this Statement and the committee was supportive. They even reduced the time from 14 to seven days. I was proud that for the first time, a human life meant something. When a Petition is brought to this House regarding a life lost, we treat it urgently. They reduced it to seven days. The HANSARD will bear me witness. The stakeholders that had logged in to that meeting were encouraged. Later on, they called me to say that the Senate is an amazing House and there was hope for them. Today, many months later, it is now forming the next order of business, quite low in hierarchy because it is being read towards the end. After all the excitement, the citizens who were encouraged and proud of this House are a disappointed lot today. That does not augur well for us, especially when lives have been lost. If a life gone does not even move us and create the urgency that this nation needs to act, what would? I am not saying any work or question is more important than the other, but there are some that are sacred. Life is sacred. Madam Temporary Speaker, I would like you to press the Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations. To belong to the committee is a big privilege. Therefore, we expect more from Members of the Committee. Good positions must also have the commensurate responsibility even if that responsibility is heavy. The Committee is an important one. I am looking for the right word. Today, I drove from Isiolo from 4.00 a.m. So, I am a bit lost for English words. I have been practising my mother tongue. If this House allowed me, I am sure the word would have come. Madam Temporary Speaker, I am appealing to you because you are a lawyer and you know the importance of the rule of law. You are a human being and you understand the value of human life. The Committee holds a sensitive portfolio and it must be responsible because of many deaths that have occurred. The conservationist’s death gave us so much hope because the Committee itself reduced the time by half. However, many months later,
nothing has been done. Can we be told what happened? Should we give up and continue to bury our dead or is this House going to do something? Madam Temporary Speaker, I hope you will do something.
Proceed, Sen. Cherargei.
Madam Temporary Speaker, I thank Sen. Kwamboka for bringing the Statement on behalf of an important committee. This is one of the important committees that should be working round the clock, considering that the issue of homeland or internal security is critical and important to our nation. It happens every day. There are many issues that happen across the country that need to be addressed. In fact, Members of the Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations should be on call, just like doctors, because of many issues in the country. The Senator has read an elaborate report. Unfortunately, the results are not impressive. We used to have the late Sen. Haji, the father to Sen. A. Haji here, as the Chair. I do not know if the current Chair is Sen. Outa. Sen. Kwamboka is also a Member of the Committee. She is also in the House Leadership. So, she is also powerful in that Committee, and I thank her for bringing the report. Since the Senator is here and she also sits on the Senate Business Committee (SBC) and the Liaison Committee, I request her to intervene on some of the issues like the killing of the conservationist which was brutal and shook the world. We expected the results. When the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government wants to arrest a politician like me, they do it quickly. However, when you tell them there are culprits somewhere, they will tell you there is no fuel. When they want to arrest a
brewer, there is fuel, but when they are told to do the right job, they do not. That should have been a direct intervention. One thing I am happy about the Statement is the state of police stations across the country. That is an important Statement. Most of the police stations in the country are now being built using the National Government-Constituencies Development Fund (NG- CDF). Others that were built during the colonial period are in a pathetic state. This Statement should have been dealt with. Sen. Kwamboka should not have brought it as a Statement because she is the owner. She should have brought it as a Petition so that we have a report.
Order, Senator. These are Statements that are being made on behalf of the committees. She made it on behalf of the Chairperson of the Committee on National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations.
Madam Temporary Speaker, the reason I am saying so is because Sen. Kwamboka is the one who requested for the Statement on the state of the police stations across the country. She is the conveyor of the message but she is one of those who requested for Statements. I wanted to request her to change it into a petition, so that we do a comprehensive report. After nominations, when I was arrested in my private abode and brought to Nairobi, I had the privilege of lodging in Capitol Hill Police Station. It was built through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) but there are no proper facilities.
Courtesy of the state, the court decided I should also lodge at Gigiri Police Station between Friday and Tuesday and the state of that police station is worrying. We need to do something. When you go to the ablution blocks that remandees are supposed to use--- There is need to renovate our police stations across the country. Madam Temporary Speaker, the furniture and buildings are in a pathetic state. Most of the police stations in Kenya, especially here in Nairobi, should be condemned by public health authorities because they were built many years back. I think this was a brilliant Statement by Sen. Kwamboka that should have assisted us once and for all and improved the working conditions of our police officers. You can imagine if we were coming to the Senate and there was no good working environment such as good sitting. It is discouraging. The problem in those police stations is not only for the police officers who work from there tirelessly to protect our country but also for us who are regular guests there. I am not saying that while we are arrested we should be given special treatment, but let the treatment be humane in some way. I do not want to say I enjoyed my five days stay in the police station but we should do something about the police stations that we have. When I was Chair of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC), we did something on forced disappearances, state abductions and extra judicial killings. These issues are prevalent in the coast region and Nairobi. Sen. Kwamboka comes from this city, she will tell you and she knows that there are always people who are killed in unclear circumstances. I saw somebody who was shot dead in Mirema, Nairobi. In fact, it is an offence to be young in this city. There are three police vehicles and few rogue criminal officers within the service that go around killing young people in this city. They must be brought to book. No Kenyan should lose their lives under any account unless through the legal process. Nairobi City has borne the brunt and mostly the young people like some of us. When you go to coast and even the North Eastern parts of this country, there are many families without their sons and husbands. There are purported State abductions, extra judicial killings and forced disappearances. We remember the bodies recovered in River Nzoia and also the Tsavo story. We need the United Nations (UN) to investigate these forced disappearances. They should send a special rapporteur to Kenya. I think this issue is beyond the Committee. This is because the Committee cannot call the Minister of Interior and Coordination of national Government and the Inspector-General of Police and ask them to produce police officers who participate in forced disappearances and extra judicial killings. We need an independent oversight body such as the UN. There are so many young people who are being killed by rogue police officers in this city and even in Mombasa, North Eastern and many other places. A similar situation is happening even in Kisumu. In fact, there is a saying within the police force that, “when we arrest them they will be released by court. So let us “deal” with them.” We must stop that mentality. No person should lose their lives on account of being young or poor.
I am happy that when I was the Chairperson at JLAC we really worked hard to produce a report on forced disappearances. When I went to Kwale, we had a hearing of many widows and I was shocked. Imagine being a widow at the age of 25, 26 or 30 years, after your husband is killed in unexplained circumstances. Who will take care of these widows that we are leaving behind after their husbands are killed? It is unfair to them and to their children. I want the Committee of National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations to take note and come up with proposals. In fact, any person who kills another Kenyan must suffer capital punishment through a legal process as a deterrent. Finally, is on police salaries and remuneration. Although, this matter ended up in court, some police officers in the service and out of their industrious nature when they were on leave or off duty had gone to school to acquire diplomas and degrees, including masters. I have met police officers who have doctorate degrees. I saw when they were recruiting the other day they said “D” was their material which is okay. We understand the reason but there are police officers who have worked hard and got more papers. The National Police Service had given them better salaries, emoluments and allowances. The other day the Inspector-General of Police decided to remove all those extra allowances that had already been awarded. Some of them had already taken loans. For us we take mortgage here. You can imagine if you have taken a mortgage and the employer, the Parliamentary Service Commission tells you that your salary will be halved. You can imagine the torment and the agony that many police officers undergo when the extra increment they had received because of their academic qualifications is removed. However, we are not saying that police officer should also not be learned. Madam Temporary Speaker, you are learned in this profession; the senior most. You remember the time when most State Counsels were Inspectors of police and most of the cases by the State were lost on technicalities. We need police officers who are also well learned and competent to allow the police to function properly. Therefore, I want to ask the Committee of National Security to relook at the issues of salaries, remunerations, allowances and uniform. The uniforms police are wearing now are like an outfit of some political coalition in this country. So, whenever we are in a political rally we always wonder are these members of your political formation or police officers. We will need to protest on the issue of police uniform and it must be looked into. I know Sen. Kwamboka would be happy because whenever they are in a rally and they see the blue uniform of the police she might imagine that they are their supporters yet they are police officers. As you know, her political party normally wears that colour.
Definitely, the colours of our forces are very distinct and they cannot look like the colours of our political parties in as much as they are also good. I do not see any more requests on this one. We move to Chairperson Committee on Roads and Transportation. I am informed that the Chairperson is not there or even a member to represent. That one is deferred.
Madam Temporary Speaker, on behalf of the Chairperson, Sen. (Dr.) Ochillo-Ayacko and on behalf of the Members, allow me to make the following Statement relating to the activities of CPAIC. I rise pursuant to Standing Order No.51 (1) (b) to make a Statement for the period commencing 1st February, 2022 to May, 2022. Following the re-constitution of its Membership on Wednesday, 23rd February, 2022, the Committee convened its first sitting on Thursday, 24th February, 2022 and elected Sen. (Dr.) Ochillo Ayacko, EGH, MP and Sen. (Eng.) Hargura Godana, MP as the Chairperson and Vice Chairpersons respectively. Madam Temporary Speaker, I wish to provide details of the Committee activities as follows – During the period under review, the Committee held 16 sittings. It developed a rigorous work plan to interrogate both county executives and county assemblies. As you are aware, the county assemblies never used to appear before the Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee (CPAIC), but now they have to. Hence published in the dailies schedules of appearances for the County Executives and Assemblies for the months of March, April and May, 2022.
The Committee resolved to have meetings on Monday morning and afternoon and Tuesday morning because of the afternoon plenary sessions that we have.
During the period under review, the Committee held meetings with eight governors to consider the Auditor-General’s Report for the Financial Year 2019/2020 for county executives. As you are aware, that is the Financial Year that we are considering at the moment. The one that will follow is Financial Year 2020/2021 then 2021/2022. However, we believe that will be taken over by the next Senate. During the period under review, the Committee has considered, prepared and is awaiting adoption of 13 reports for the following County Executives for the Financial Year 2018/2019. These are: Nyeri, Tharaka Nithi, Kitui, Lamu, Siaya, Murang’a, Busia, Meru, Nyamira, Turkana, Makueni, Bungoma and Elgeyo-Marakwet counties.
Madam Temporary Speaker in the months of February and March, 2022, the Committee undertook county visits to the counties of Narok, Bomet and Vihiga to inspect projects that had been queried by the Auditor- General.
What it means is that when the governors appear before the Committee, there are some projects that the auditor sometimes feels that the Committee must visit to ascertain its status and its progress in terms of various county development projects. It is not only about the audit of books, it is also important to audit projects. That is why you normally see the Committee visit various counties led by our Chairman on various occasions. This is to ensure that wananchi do not feel that we only invite governors to Senate to answer questions, but when you go to the ground, things are different.
Regarding upcoming activities, the Committee is scheduled to continue with the consideration of the Auditor-General’s Reports for the Financial Year 2019/2020 for the county executives and county assemblies.
Further, the Committee intends to hold some of its sittings in Mombasa County - this happened last week - to meet with County Executives of Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale and County Assemblies of Kilifi, Mombasa, Kwale and Taita Taveta. It has come to the notice of the House that during this weekend from Thursday, those issues have been dispensed with - those respective county executives and county assemblies.
The Committee also resolved to inspect projects in these counties that it had dispensed with. We had the opportunity of visiting Kwale County to ascertain and look at the projects that are there, particularly intensive projects that had been queried by the Auditor-General.
This is the report of the Senate Sessional Committee on the County Public Accounts and Investments Committee, pursuant to the Standing Orders. It is worth to note that whenever respective county assemblies and county executives appear before this Sessional Committee, we invite that respective Senator to participate in the rigorous process.
I want to assure you, on behalf of the Committee Members and the Chairman, we know that one of the primary calls of the Senate is oversight. One of the tools we have is to use the Auditor-General to query on the prudent use of the monies and resources that have been allocated to counties.
I want to assure the nation and wananchi at large that whenever they hear that money has been dispensed to their counties, they should relax because when that money is allocated to a county, like Kajiado, as a Senate, we will call the governor to account for it and even visit Kajiado County and other 47 counties to ascertain the status of those projects; whether they are in use for the benefit of the public.
The Senate being the primary oversight, we will endeavor as the Committee that has been tasked with this huge task to ensure that public money is used in the right way and devolution continues to flourish in our country.
There are no reactions to this Statement. Hon. Senators, Order Nos. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26,2 7 to 28, are Divisions or Committee of the Whole. Order Nos. 29, 30, 31 are also Committees of the Whole. We cannot process them for today. All those Orders are deferred to another date.
Order No. 32 is also a Motion by the Chairperson Standing Committee on Education and he is not present.
Order No. 33 is a Motion by the Chairperson Sessional Committee on Delegated Legislation and Chairman is not here, neither do we have a representative. All those matters from Order No. 8 to 33 are therefore deferred to another date.
Hon. Senators, there being no other business in the Order Paper, the Senate stands adjourned until, Wednesday, 18th May, 2022, at 2.30 p.m.
The Senate Rose at 3.57 p.m.