Attending Parliament: Answering MP's questions

Posted by on 31st October 2006

Categories:   News

Sorry. this should have been posted before the EALA one.

Part 2

by anonymous

2:30 – 3: 30 Thursday October 26

The Session started with Ministries answering questions that had been previously put to them by MP’s.

Assistant State Minister, John Serut answered a question that has been posed by Ndhiwa MP Orwa Ojode about projects initiated by a donor body in his constituency, and he mentioned the projects completed, in progress, their cost etc. But when he sat Ojode replied very forcefully that only 2 boreholes had been dug, the rest of the money was spent on seminars in Webuye. Serut again read his list, naming a few but speaker cut him off saying he should not read them all if they were too long. Ojode now claimed that the list was a fake, as he’s the MP and knows what’s on the ground. Serut then said that the Ministry would set up a proper visit to evaluate the status of the projects.

Education assistant minister Kilemi Mwiria answered a question from an MP from a constituency in Kisii district who had asked about the number of high schools, students & teachers in his constituency and how many passed KCSE exams and were admitted to university. Upon further questioning by the MP, Mwiria explained that the low university admission rate was due to apparent disadvantage that district schools suffered to national school, and which the government was working to correct. He also asked other MP’s to help such schools by ensuring that they get the best teachers – i.e. teachers employed on merit, not because they knew MP or what religion they were.

Assistant Water Minister Aden Sugow answered a question on the Nzoia Water Company posed by Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi, saying the company set up in 2005, and that while it was true that some previous managers had been dismissed for graft, and the company had made a loss of 14m last year, it was now getting up and running to offer better services. MP Davies Nakitare chipped in that the company should tap water from a higher source and use gravity for distribution, rather than from lower point and use fuel to pump it upwards and the minister said they would consider that.

Agriculture Minister Kipruto Kirwa answered a question about the revival of the pyrethrum sector saying that companies would only be licensed to deal in the crop after passage of the 2006 pyrethrum bill. One MP challenged him to state that his office has not dealt with a company called Midlands, who had already been licensed in Nynandarua, and the Minister replied that they were licensed for research only and he would monitor their activities. Another MP challenged him to ensure that debts owed to pyrethrum farmers are settled before any new companies are licensed or funded in the sector.

Questions for Ministers

– Moyale MP wanted the minister of state in charge of special programs to explain how the government was responding to the floods that has destroyed infrastructure and homes in Moyale.

– Kasarani MP William Omondi, wanted the Minister of state in charge of internal security to respond to the insecurity in Kahawa area where a gang has been going round killing people in close proximity to a police station with no action taken.

Justice Minister, Martha Karua, replied to the Speaker that these questions, posed to the Office of the President, will be answered next Thursday

Other observations
– A few MP questions were dropped since they were not in the house. Assistant minister Robison Githae pointed out that since absent Ministers were being admonished by the Speaker, he should similarly admonish MPs who fail to appear when their questions are scheduled to be answered.

– At one point, Ojode, in challenging an assistant minister about wrong government statistics, appeared to end his argument with the word pumbavu. Ken Nyagudi the asked the speaker for clarification and Ojode interjected that if speaker could not hear, how could MP hear the word? Later he apologized, but said that the word is used from leaders at the top.

– There was plenty of noise in the chamber from conversations on both sides and twice, Adelina Mwau, the assistant minister for labour, had to ask for the speakers’ intervention to make MP’s repeat their questions to her which she was unable to hear over the noise. Kaparo repeatedly asked MP’s to take their conversations outside and allow house business to continue.

– Speaker Kaparo announced that the matters of East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP’s would be discussed at 5 pm since it was an urgent matter to be resolved that day as his office would need time to verify nominee names and qualifications.