STATE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON WEEKLY BRIEFING SUNDAY, 18th September, 2016

On November 16, 2018 In Statements and Speeches

Good morning.
Thank you for joining us this morning. National Issues President signs various bills into law Let me start with the signing of bills, about which many of you have made enquiries this week. President Uhuru Kenyatta has already signed bills that were subject of commentary this week into law. These bills were inked into law in the past few days and include the Finance Bill 2016, which has measures that bring tax relief for low-income earners, to taxation measures in respect of gaming, betting and competition. The President also signed into law the Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill 2016; and the Water Bill (Mediated Version). He also assented to the Natural Resources Bill, as passed by both Houses of Parliament on 24 August 2016. Miraa flights to Somalia: Let me turn to another matter about which some of you enquired this week. This is about Miraa exports to Somalia. Many of you enquired as to why a ban was imposed by Somalia in the first place, and why it took the President flying to the Somali capital Mogadishu to find a solution to the matter. Some industry people have also been heard complaining loudly that they do not know whether Somalia’s ban can be imposed again. The matter is really simple. The Governor of Meru, Mr Peter Munya, travelled to the Somalia region of Somaliland, and purported to reach agreement with the authorities there about exports of Miraa to the region.   Now, whatever his intentions, good or otherwise, Mr Munya went and held discussions with a regional administration, without the knowledge of the Federal Government of Somalia, or indeed, without any consultations whatsoever or advise from the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs --- in which the mandate to manage our foreign relations is vested. In the aftermath of Mr Munya’s visit, believing that he was a legitimate representative of the Government of Kenya, the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia took the grim view that Kenya recognised Somaliland as an independent state, and so the decision to ban the Miraa imports from Kenya. Governors, including Mr Munya should understand clearly that they do not run sovereign states and cannot hold discussions with sovereign government entities in another country without, in the first instance, consultations with our foreign ministry, and importantly, authorities in the countries in which they wish to engage. Talking to governments takes a certain decorum and protocol. It is not like talking to a private enterprise. County governments are regional administrations in the Republic of Kenya. They do not hold sovereign power. As Governor Munya’s lesson shows, decisions taken without proper consultations or advise end up causing crises and discomfort when there is really no reason for either. President Kenyatta has been advocating for a summit of IGAD in Mogadishu for a while, and it came at a moment when these matters arose. He engaged candidly with his counterpart, assured him that Kenya did not recognise any breakaway regions of Somalia, and emphasised that this confusion was caused by a governor whose understanding of foreign relations is at best ill informed. That’s how the breakthrough on the Miraa subject was achieved. State House Summits: We held a very successful discussions focusing on Health matters in our State House Summit series last week. We know it was successful because the Kenyan people candidly expressed their views in respect to the State of our Health systems. It tells us, that there is an important conversation to be held, and we are leading that process, getting Kenyans to have very honest discussions about delivery of service in the public space. This administration has invested billions of shillings in a number of sectors, and it has to show results. I have seen come commentary suggesting that these Summits are being used to roll out new pledges of investment in areas to uplift the lives of the Kenyan citizen. Well, I always urge sound thinking before commentary. To debate the administration’s investments, there are three areas of focus: What was the state of affairs when President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto took office in 2013? What is the state of affairs now? What is the difference; and what has been the impact on society? And lastly, how much money has been invested? So, let me give you a simple example. There were 8,000 schools connected to electricity in 2013. Now we have more than 22,000. The difference is 14,000. This means, for example that in every constituency in our republic, some 97 per cent of all primary schools now have electricity. And we can demonstrate this further, to County and even constituency level. In Kakamega town for instance, we have installed 182 lanterns; in Mumias we have installed 29; spending a total of Sh 107 million. This ensures that economic activity can continue long after darkness falls, and it also has significantly improved security. Now, there are 882 primary schools in Kakamega. We have connected 808 of these. Only 26 remain and work on them is progressing apace. In Butere, only two of the 78 schools remain, while in Ikolomani, only 2 of the 89 schools remain. This points to children starting to have equal opportunity to study facilities wherever they are in our country. Possibly nearby market centres also have electricity for the very first time. And I think it is very important that the Kenyan people know this. It is also important, as I said last week, that media knows these facts. So when you hear tale-tales and lies bundied around by charlatans and purveyors of untruths – and I assure there are many habitual liars out there --- you are able to check the facts, and provide clarity to the Kenyan people. That is part of your mandate. Our next Summit is on September 26. International Issues Global Fund replenishment meeting and the UN General Assembly YESTERDAY, in Montreal, the Global Fund ended its two-day replenishment meeting. President Kenyatta was represented by Cabinet Secretaries Amb Dr Amina Mohamed and Dr Cleopa Mailu. In the spirit of shared responsibility and global solidarity, African countries can committed to play a bigger role by investing more in their health through the Global Fund. Healthier people will mean a more productive populace, which can continue to bolster our economies. A 2013 Lancet Commission on Investing in Health called returns on investing in health are impressive. For instance, reductions in death account for about 11 percent of recent economic growth in low-income and middle-income countries as measured in their national income accounts. That impact is evident on our continent. Today, many of the fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa. Now, more than ever before, it is clear that we can defeat these diseases and save millions of lives of our people as well as transform our countries for good. However, if we take our foot off the pedal, these diseases can roar back. This is why we, as African countries, have a key role to play in co-investing in health with our partners. Kenya pledged $5 million to the Global Fund for the coming three-year funding cycle. We all must come together and contribute to create enough impetus against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria and other health concerns that continue to devastate our people. The Fund is an example of great partnerships for development that we can form in every sector as we seek to build stronger societies. These types of partnerships recognize that world problems are shared. They re-emphasize that the world must learn to build bridges and look outward rather than inwards. They also provide avenues for low- and middle-income economies to play a prominent role in their own destinies. It is the way to create a transformative impact on people and to reinvigorate our communities and economies. Kenya’s commitments at Global Oceans Summit Kenya’s delegation to the Oceans summit, convened by US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington DC, comprised Cabinet Secretary Professor Judi Wakhungu; Principal Secretary Micheni Ntiba, PhD; and Simon Warui. It comes at a time when the President of Kenya signed into law the “Fisheries Management and Development Act 2016”. Kenya is committed to the protection of the environment and sustainable development of renewable marine resources. Kenya will operationalize the new Fisheries Management and Development Law enacted on 3rd September 2016 by specifically undertaking the following actions: Set up a fund for developing Kenya’s “Blue Economy” initiative by December 2016; Increase monitoring control and surveillance in Kenya’s Exclusive Economic Zone and partner with “Global Fishing Watch” to prevent illegal Unregulated and unreported fishing and increase security in our marine water; Strengthen Beach Management Units capacity among the Kenya Coastal communities in fisheries management and security for all coastal areas; Establish a Kenya Fisheries Service to strengthen institutional capacity for fisheries protection; Establish a National Ocean and Fisheries Council to co-ordinate and harmonize the whole government approach to ocean governance in Kenya, and, Set up a Fisheries Crime Law Enforcement Academy. Kenya will ratify, domesticate and enforce the FAO Port State Measures Agreement of 2009 to eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated Fishing by December 2016. U.N. General Assembly The Deputy President, His Excellency William Ruto, is leading Kenya’s delegation to the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. He is already in New York City. The High-level segment at the UNGA will focus on movements of refugees and migrants. The DP will deliver a statement to the General Assembly on the President’s behalf as well as attend Africa-US, EAC-US, and Kenya-US business meetings. He will also hold bilateral meetings. AGOA At the tail-end of the UNGA programme, Cabinet Secretary for Investment, Trade and Cooperatives Adan Mohamed will head to Washington DC for meetings on improving access in terms of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). We are looking to further improve Kenya’s exports to the US market under this programme.

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