Hansard Highlights Week of February 13th, 2011

Posted by on 19th April 2011

Categories:   Constituency News Corruption Hansard Hansard Analysis

Nominated MP Rachel Shebesh asked a crucial question given the disparity between the rhetoric how can
the women of Kenya take the government with regards to their commitment to the inclusion of
women?

PRIME MINISTERIAL STATEMENT: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW
CONSTITUTION: REALIZING DEVOLUTION

The Prime Minister (Mr. Raila): Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like to focus particularly on
devolution. I would like to make a brief statement on an area that I strongly feel that our country
needs to start giving some serious thought to as we prepare to implement priority areas of our
new Constitution.

One of the highlights of our new Constitution is the provision for the devolved system of
Government. The creation of the devolved Government is one of the far-reaching reforms in
our governance structure which if efficiently implemented, has the potential to enhance Kenya’s
stability and development.

Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the reforms envisaged under devolution will have to be implemented in
a manner that is consistent and coordinated across the national Government. The transition needs
to be properly planned to avoid any disruption in the provision of essential Government services.
There are issues we need to start exercising our minds about if we are to make devolution a
success.

One of the requirements of the devolved Government is that one third of the seats in the County
Assembly and one third of the positions in the County Government will have to be occupied by
women. That is the law.

As I travel across the country, I get the feeling that this message has not sunk down enough and
very little sensitization is going on. Women have for long been relegated to the role of observers
in a political game dominated by men. Kenya’s politics has over the time become very masculine
and quite physical. It has also become a very expensive affair. Because of these two features, our
women have largely been locked out of politics.

Women supported this Constitution so wholeheartedly because it marked the beginning of their
long sought liberation. It guarantees that one third of all elected or appointed posts in Government
go to women. It binds political parties to pay special attention to gender parity, an obvious
departure from what has been the norm. Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I want to make an appeal for
due attention to be paid to the provisions on women.

I feel the time has come for our institutions and our international supporters to embark on a
deliberate campaign of preparing women for the roles they have to take up, particularly in politics
in the coming elections. It is my belief that women’s entry into politics, with the desired numbers,
will see them make a mark in other areas of our economy and public life.

Mrs. Shebesh: Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, the Prime Minister has clearly stated that the provision
for one-third representation of either gender is now a Constitutional issue and that in the
process of implementation of the New Constitution; realizing devolution, this is an area that the
Government is taking very seriously.

Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am holding a petition that was given to the Speaker by 19 women
organizations over the recent appointments. How will Kenyan women take the Government
seriously when it is just giving lip service to the one-third affirmative action policy but not doing
it in practice? We are tired of lip service. Could the Prime Minister tell us concretely, in line
with the current appointments and continuous appointments that happen, where women must
always make noise— This is now a Constitutional matter. How can the women of Kenya take this
Government seriously on this issue?

2. The government has given is 1.5 billion shillings to constituencies and another 300 million
to financial institutions for the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) in Tharaka
constituency it turns youth were being asked to give money before they could access the funds
read the Assistant Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports response to this. It would be interesting
to know the experience of youth trying to access the YEDF in other constituencies.

DISBURSEMENT OF YEDF MONEY IN THARAKA CONSTITUENCY

Mr. Mwiru: asked the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs:-
(a) How much funds have been disbursed to Tharaka by the Youth Enterprise Development
Fund (YEDF) through the Constituency Youth Enterprise Scheme (C-YES) and financial
institutions (FIs); and,
(b) Whether he could table a list of financial institutions involved in the disbursement of
funds as well as the list of beneficiaries, whether individual or group(s), since inception
of the Fund.

The Assistant Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports (Ms. Ndeti): (a) The YEDF has disbursed
a total of Kshs9.8 million to Tharaka. Out of that amount, Kshs2 million has been disbursed
through the Constituency Youth Enterprise Scheme (C-YES) and Kshs7.8 million has been
disbursed through the financial institutions. The YEDF has partnered with three financial
intermediaries that are present in Tharaka. They are South Imenti Credit Company, Business
Initiatives and Management Assistance Service (BIMAS) and Kenya Women Finance Trust.

Mr. Mwiru: Mr. Speaker, Sir, in 2009, one of the financial institutions mentioned here, the
South Imenti Credit Company, started collecting money in form of savings from the youth of that
area. That exercise was supposed to encourage the youth to get loans from them. I would like to
know whether it is a Government policy for the youth to pay Government institutions before they
secure a loan.

Ms. Ndeti: Mr. Speaker, Sir, money from YEDF is supposed to be given to the youth to
enable them start their own businesses. We are trying to help the youth. So, I do not see how
an institution would ask the youth to save money so that they can use the money that the
Government has set aside for them. I assure the hon. Member, who mentioned the matter to me
last week, that we are looking into it as a Ministry. I want to give him comfort that this time
round, we have given out Kshs1.5 billion to constituencies and only Kshs300 million to banks
and other financial intermediaries.

Mr. Chepkitony: Thank you Mr. Speaker, Sir. I would like the Assistant Minister to tell this
House how much interest is charged when money is disbursed through the CYES and financial
intermediaries. How much do those two institutions charge as interest?

Ms. Ndeti: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the banks are supposed to charge a minimal interest of about 8
per cent. The Fund gives loans to these intermediaries at 1 per cent interest rate. They use the
7 per cent difference to cover administration costs and mitigate losses that may arise from the
clientele, which are perceived as a risk. The intermediary should shoulder 100 per cent risk of this
component and can lead up to Kshs1 million.

Mr. Langat: Mr. Speaker, Sir, this Fund is meant to help the youth in our constituencies.

Unfortunately, there is no sensitization of the youth in the constituencies on how these funds can
be obtained. Could the Assistant Minister tell us what they have been doing to sensitize the youth
on the existence of this Fund?

Ms. Ndeti: Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have already employed two youths from every constituency
to work with the youth on the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. From the end of last year,
we have been going around the country, county by county, with the Minister and the Assistant
Minister, to sensitize the youth on the importance of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. I
can assure you we are on the ground and we are giving our employees motorbikes, so that they
can access all the areas in their constituencies.

Mr. Wambugu: Mr. Speaker, Sir, indeed, if the Youth Enterprise Development
Fund is used properly, it can help alleviate poverty in the rural areas. Who comprises the
committee that sit at the constituency and who nominates the members to those committees?
What part is the Member of Parliament supposed to play in the running of this Fund?

Ms. Ndeti: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Member of Parliament should be the patron. The
Fund is under the District Youth Officers. If it is within a council, the Town Clerk runs the Fund.
I am prepared to provide a list of the names of the members of the committees.

Dr. Kones: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Assistant Minister has said that the Ministry has employed
some youths. I know that these youths were taken as interns on contract basis. Does the Ministry
intend to employ them on permanent basis?

Ms. Ndeti: Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are trying to create employment for the youth. It is better for
us to start taking them as interns while looking at the long-term when we can employ them
on permanent basis. We have created more than 420 jobs for the youth of this country in our
Ministry.

Mr. Mwiru: Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have a scenario where the youth are paying money to these
institutions that I have mentioned. Will it be possible for the Ministry to ask these institutions to
refund this money to the youth? They have suffered so much and they are not getting the loans.

Ms. Ndeti: Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are going to look into the Member’s complaints against these
financial institutions. I want to assure him that we are there for the youth and we will not allow
anyone to take money from the youth.