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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.

Hansard Highlights – Who gets to “step aside”

Posted by on 18th March 2011

Categories: Hansard MP Participation

This is a new regular feature where we will review past editions of the Hansard to highlight debates that are of particular national importance (and to show that we know that MPs do work from time to time).

The debate below on the irregular award of the concession highlights an important issue – who gets to “step aside” when allegations of corruption have been made.


Irregular Award of Concession to Rift Valley Railways (RVR) (week of January 16, 2011)

Mr. Mbadi: asked the Minister of State for Public Service what disciplinary measures the Government has taken against the public officers mentioned in the 16th Report of the Public Investments Committee adopted by the House, for their involvement in the irregular concessioning of the train operations to Rift Valley Railways by the Kenya Railways Corporation.

The Minister of State for Public Service (Mr. Otieno): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to reply. The 16th Report of the Public Investments Committee recommended that the Director of the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission should carry out investigations to establish the roles played by the Chief Officers from the Treasury and the Ministry of Transport in awarding the concession to Sheltam Railways/Rift Valley Railways. The PIC Report did not recommend any disciplinary measures to be taken against the Chief Officers who participated in awarding the concession to the railway company. However, it did recommend further investigations on the process of concessioning. Consequently, no disciplinary action has been instituted against any of these officers.

Mr. Mbadi: Mr. Speaker, Sir, Chapter 6 of the Constitution of Kenya is very clear on the requirements on the part of public officers with regards to integrity. Not long ago, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Secretary had to step aside before the Report of the House was debated. Early last year, we had a case where five permanent secretaries were asked to leave office because of pending investigations by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission. My question is: Why is the Executive applying double standards in terms of asking for accountability from its public officers?

Mr. Otieno: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Committee recommended investigations. There is no basis of taking any disciplinary action until we get the report of that investigation.

Mr. Mbadi: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Minister to evade my question? I was very clear. I said that in February last year, the Government asked five permanent secretaries to step aside because they were facing investigations by KACC. Here is a case where two Ministers, one Permanent Secretary and the Investments Secretary of the same Government are confronted by investigations by KACC. Why is it that they have not been asked to step aside to pave way for investigations? In fact, one of the Ministers is in charge of the Ministry of Transport at the moment, where investigations are supposed to take place.

Mr. Otieno: Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Committee, in its wisdom, did not ask anybody to step aside when it asked KACC to proceed on this matter. In other cases, the Committee recommended stepping aside to facilitate investigations. It means that the Committee did not have adequate information. It was referring the matter to KACC to investigate. But it did not, in its wisdom, request any stepping aside to facilitate that investigation.

Mr. Mbadi: Mr. Speaker, Sir, I want to find out from the Minister how investigations will take place in that Ministry and that State Corporation when the Minister in charge is among the people to be investigated?

Mr. Otieno: Mr. Speaker, Sir, I think we all know that KACC is very competent and can investigate whether you are in office or not. At an appropriate timewhen there is need to step aside, they have procedures to follow.

Mr. Mbadi: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Is it in order for the Minister to continue misleading the House, while he knows very well that the reason why Ministers and public officers are asked to step aside is – and in their own words when they step aside – it has become a tradition to say that they are leaving to give room for fair investigations? The main reason for stepping aside is to give room for fair investigation. It is not that a body is incompetent or not. Could he explain why, this time round, you are leaving those officers in office and yet, other officers in a similar situation were asked to step aside to give room for fair investigations?

Mr. Otieno: Mr. Speaker, Sir, we make decisions on the basis of the content of the issues that arise. Where the content is of a type that stepping aside is the way forward, then that direction is taken. The other examples he is giving, there was content that warranted such steps forward. In this particular case, the Committee itself did not even see it fit to suggest that anybody should step aside. There was insufficient content in that Report and I have said that the Treasury has already addressed the Office of the Speaker on this particular matter; on the basis of the facts that were laid before the Committee, which need to be further reviewed and possibly the Committee will make a different decision after receiving all this feedback from the Treasury.

The Importance Of The Hansard

Posted by on 17th July 2006

Categories: Hansard

One of the things we plan to do with Mzalendo.com is have the Hansard available online, dating back to 2003 in a searchable format.

The Hansard is the verbatim report of the proceeding of the house outlining all the debate taking place in the house, capturing the contribution of every member — questions, responses and debate in the house.

Reading the Hansard can be quite the eye opener, because much of what goes on in the house never gets reported in the press, and it is these oversights that lead to the abuse of the parliamentary process by parliamentarians.

For example, here are some stunning excerpts from the Hansard concerning the acrimonious passing of the Internal Security budget last week.

Participating in the debate are Internal Security Minister John Michuki, Shadow Finance Minister Billow Kerrow, Raila Odinga, Eric Gor Sungu, Kirungi M’Mukinidia, Jakoyo Midiwo, Justin Muturi, Orwa Ojodeh, Planning Minister Henry Obwocha, Justice Minister Martha Karua and Ochilo Ayacko

Kerrow: Some of the expenses which the minister has mentioned now as ‘Other Operating Expenses’ have got sub-heads and items that we can use such as legal expenses. If you add all of them within the Office of the President vote, it amounts to Sh535 million. That is our concern.

Michuki: These estimate books used to comprise huge volumes that were sometimes impossible to bring to this. Like now, if we sent the General Service Unit out, how will they move to various places? We have to cater for this eventuality, which is very difficult to estimate.

Odinga: With regards to ‘Specialised Materials and Supplies’, last year, there was a provision for Sh109.27 million. This time round, the minister is asking for Sh214 million. Can we be told what these specialised materials and supplies are?

Michuki: Those are security items.

Kerrow: It is this House that is required to scrutinise the itemised expenditures of this Ministry. Is he (Michuki) in order to hide under the cover of national security as he often does? In the case of financial expenditure, he should give us the breakdown.

Sunguh: Could the minister explain what specialised materials and supplies are? I hope it is not a question of national security this time.

Michuki: Even the gallant, Maj-General (rtd) here (Kajiado Central MP Joseph Nkaisserry) here knows that a specialised equipment is a specialised equipment.

Odinga:
It is our responsibility to scrutinise the expenditure, but the Chair is denying us that opportunity. It appears as if the Chair is allowing ‘voting machines’ on the Government side to raise whatever they want and we, on this side, just rubber-stamp it. We are not prepared to be used as rubber-stamps!

M’Mukindia: I ought to tell Mr Raila that he is imputing improper motives on the part of the Chair, and that is not acceptable. We have to conduct this business in a way that shows decorum and respect for one another. Once the question has been put, that is it and we move on!

Kerrow: When you read 10 heads at once, how are we expected to raise queries? If you are not going to give us time to understand the issues, you better just ask us to say yes or no for the whole vote. That is a joke. It is ridiculing the House.

M’Mukindia: We have had the printed estimates for a long time. This is not the time to read it.

Midiwo: We might be the minority on this side, but we deserve to be heard. We demand that right. When the minister is being queried on what he wants to use taxpayers’ money on, he stands up and says: ‘A specialised equipment is a specialised equipment.’ I think that is the lowest that this Parliament can get to.

Muturi: A whopping Sh200 million has been allocated for the purchase of specialised plant, equipment and machinery for the Presidential Escort. What plant is that? These are policemen on motorbikes! What specialised equipment do they need?

Michuki: The amounts are to purchase networking communication equipment, including their installation for the Presidential Escort Unit. Those equipment that are in use now do not have spare parts.

Ojodeh: The cost of the specialised materials is Sh1.2 billion. Let him (the minister) explain to us what these specialised items in every police department are.

Michuki: I have actually stated in this House many times before that this nation must take care of itself. If you want to tell the world the details of every security equipment that we have, do not do that through me.

Odinga: The Presidential Escort Unit is currently heavily furnished with very many vehicles. Why is it necessary, in the face of declared frugality, to provide Sh200 million just for the Unit?

Obwocha: If he went to The Gambia, he would know that the President of that country has two big armoured limousines – I am telling him because he wants to become President.

Karua: Since it appears as if honourable members do not understand or appreciate security issues, their personal bodyguards, who are not a requirement of the law, should be withdrawn.

Ayacko: There is a point that Ms Karua has and I want to correct it. If you look at the Parliamentary Service Commission Act and the provisions by the (Justice) Cockar Report, it (provision of personal bodyguards) is a right and an entitlement to all MPs.

(In protest, some MPs from the Opposition benches withdraw from the Chamber)

An MP: Where are they going? There are no World Cup matches!

Muturi: The Government Printer has always existed. Could the minister explain to us whether he is going to put up another building at Sh40 million? Is he proposing to relocate?

Michuki: We are not relocating, but the buildings are all dilapidated.

Kerrow: When the minister was moving the vote, he mentioned that Sh960 million is meant for the construction of the forensic science laboratory. The contract for it has yet to be cancelled. Is this money going to be paid to the same contractors or is the minister going to award a new contract after he has verified and cancelled the old contract in which billions of shillings are at stake?

Michuki: If the honourable member wants to micro-manage the Government, then he better comes to my office!

Hansard Source: OWINO OPONDO, Daily Nation, 16 July (Hat tip Alexcia!)

AOB: Apparently, the Parliament’s Standing Orders (rules under which Parliament conducts its business and they regulate the way Members behave and debates are organised) are set to be reviewed, to among other things, open up the all important committee sittings to the public.

Wednesday March 22nd, 2006 2:00pm

Posted by on 22nd March 2006

Categories: Hansard

Summary

Content

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

OFFICIAL REPORT

Wednesday, 22nd, March, 2006

The House met at 2.30 p.m.

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Tuesday March 21st 2006 2:OOpm

Posted by on 21st March 2006

Categories: Hansard

Summary

Content

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

OFFICIAL REPORT

Ninth Parliament – Fifth Session

(Ninth Parliament established by Proclamation –
Legal Notice No.8 of 24th January, 2003)

Tuesday, 21st March, 2006

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