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September 19, 2017

I'm not a traitor, relationship with Uhuru helping Bungoma - Lusaka

Former Bungoma Governor and Senate speaker Kenneth Lusaka leaves the chambers after the inauguration of senators on August 31, 2017.  /JACK OWUOR
Former Bungoma Governor and Senate speaker Kenneth Lusaka leaves the chambers after the inauguration of senators on August 31, 2017. /JACK OWUOR

Senate speaker Kenneth Lusaka has said he is not a traitor and that his support for Jubilee is based on President Uhuru Kenyatta's development record.

The former Bungoma Governor said Western leaders among them NASA principals Musalia Mudavadi (ANC) and Moses Wetang'ula (Ford Kenya) have labeled him a traitor.

He decamped from the Opposition to Jubilee Party before the August 8 election and is said to have paid the price by losing the seat.

More on this: Lusaka took the bullet for Jubilee in Bungoma - analysts

Also read: Speaker Lusaka under pressure to deliver Bungoma votes to Uhuru

In an interview with The Star on Thursday, Lusaka said he is not going to apologise to anyone.

"My relationship with Uhuru has seen Bungoma enjoy tremendous benefits. When they were working on the other side it was okay but now because it is Lusaka, they call me a traitor."

Further noting the region is enjoying new entrants in politics, he said old guards should prepare for change.

"Whether you like it or not, new people will come on board and if you do not embrace this, you will have it rough adjusting to the new wave."

Lusaka said that with the new position, he will put politics aside and serve the House by accommodating everyone to prevent claims of bias.

"I will miss putting on my red shirt and the active politics. For now, all I can do is to cleverly appreciate Jubilee for the chance to serve as speaker. I will stick to the principle of bringing everyone on board."

Read: Vote for Uhuru as a thanksgiving for my senate speaker job Lusaka tells Bungoma voters.

Regarding the Sh1.09 million special wheelbarrows scandal that marred his tenure as Governor, he noted the case was dismissed so it should not be used to question his integrity.

"Some people just want to blow things out of proportion without any basis. This matter was dismissed. It is unfortunate the issue took a political angle," he said.

"Who does not know a price of a wheelbarrow? And in any case, those were not normal wheelbarrows. It was established the normal market price was between Sh150,000 and Sh140,000 each but Sh 109,000 was the lowest bidder."

On his strained relationship with Wetang'ula, Lusaka said he has no personal issues with the Bungoma Senator.

"I am now the speaker and he has to accept that. He is the minority leader...we must thus forget our differences and execute our mandate. I will not discriminate him but he must also allow me to carry out my duties as per the law and standing orders of the House."

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