TOGETHER WE STAND TO SHAPE OUR FUTURE

SOFIA ABDI NOOR SUPPORTING HON AFFEYS MOTION (DEBATED ON 10TH JUNE 09)
(APPOINTMENT OF VENUES FOR PARLIAMENTARY SESSIONS ON ROTATIONAL BASIS)

Mrs. Noor: Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker. I wish to support this Motion for three reasons. One, is because the Constitution allows us to have mobile Parliaments.
Coming from a mobile society, I support this Motion.
Secondly, I want to support the Motion because this is one way of us reaching out and understanding our nation. Thirdly, already our country is in reform mood. Due to that, we must transform the way we deal with our society. We must reach out and go out there in order to make sensible and meaningful changes in our country.

For anybody to understand our country and to positively contribute to the development of our country, he must, first of all, understand the diversity, challenges and problems that are facing that particular region. For us to understand, we must go out, sit and eat with our people. I want to strongly disagree with my friend, Maj.Gen. Nkaisserry, when he tells us that when we go and sit under trees, we become a council of elders sitting under trees. How superior are we from the council of elders? The council of elders are the people we respect. They are our elders. They are people who have elected us and brought us to this House. We must appreciate their capacity because they are the ones who have taught us what we are doing.

Being Members of this House, we must respect our councils of elders. Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, for us to positively and passionately contribute, we must understand that there are many challenges facing our country. When MPs bring Questions to this House, there are some who do not even understand them. They ask the technocrats, PCs and everybody at the grassroots level to inform them. I want to share with you that,  six years ago
I was disseminating Millennium Development Goals (MDG). I went to a DC and told him that I was inviting him to open for us a workshop. He told me: “Madam, I do not even understand MDGs”. So, those are the people who are informing our leaders here.
We need to get first hand information. We understand our regions. That is why I am supporting this Motion, so that we can go and understand those challenges. When we come back here, we will be able to contribute very effectively to any issue that comes on board.

We should not look at ourselves as Kenyans coming from different regions, but as Kenyans. When Americans are contributing to their development, they consider themselves, first, as Americans. When a person in America stands up he says: “We Americans”. When I stand up, people look at me and say: “Tell me, are you a Somali.” I am not a Somali. I am a Kenyan. Everybody must appreciate that.

Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, a few days ago we, as MPs, were taking tea. I was shocked and surprised when one MP from this House asked me: “Madam Sophia, when you go to Moyale, do you pass through Ijara?” That is the geographical knowledge of MPs in this House. If we do not know where Ijara and Moyale are, it is the right time for all of us to go and learn the geography of our country.

Our country is very rich with traditions, governance structured systems and other mechanism to address development programmes. Given the chance, all the MPs of this House will appreciate the talents we have at the grassroots level. They will be able to borrow and enrich their understanding of our people. They will not refer to their fellow Kenyans as “so and so”. We will not be referring to people in the Western world and saying: "So and so did this and that at that time". When we appreciate the talent that we have on the ground, we will borrow the best practices so that we can implement them. That is why I want us to go out there, sit with the people and understand them.

Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to conclude by saying that we have already started major reforms in this country. We have rolled out plans on constitutional reforms and institutional reforms. Already the mood is set. I am, therefore, pleading with hon. Members of this House to appreciate change. Let us ask for change. The world is going that direction. Change is good. Let us change everything.      I beg to support

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