• Tells senators to oversight performance of governors instead of politicising development projects
• Says anyone thinking counties will be scrapped is mistaken
Speaker Kenneth Lusaka has told governors the Senate will ensure citizens enjoy the fruits of devolution as per the Constitution.
Lusaka said he would to push for strong relations between the Council of Governors and the Devolution ministry for better services to Kenyans.
“If we don’t support the devolved units, most Kenyans shall feel marginalized. As the Senate, we will ensure that county governments remain strong because they have worked wonders for this country,” he said.
Lusaka spoke on Saturday in Mwatate, Taita Taveta county, during a fundraising for Jones Mwaruma Foundation.
“Whoever thinks that counties shall be scrapped should think otherwise. Counties are here to stay,” Lusaka said.
He urged senators to oversight the performance of governors instead of politicising development projects undertaken by county governments.
Lusaka criticised people who intimidate county governments relying on connections with senior national government officials, saying the Senate will stand firm and protect county governments.
He noted that continued land injustices in Taita Taveta have derailed development.
Citing the brewing tussle between locals and Voi Sisal Estate, Lusaka asked local leaders to petition the government to subdivide the land.
“How is it possible that land whose lease agreement has expired is being sold to other people without the knowledge of the governor? That is pure land grabbing and a serious injustice to the residents,” he said.
He supported the demands of local leaders that the county deserves a share from Tsavo National Park and other natural resources within it territory.
Lusaka asked governors to think of extra revenue resources to complete development projects.
Governor Granton Samboja accused unscrupulous investors of illegally selling community land.
He said Voi Sisal Estate has been subdivided and sold after expiry of its lease.
“We have had several meetings with Lands CS Farida Karoney and PS Nicholas Muraguri concerning the said sisal plantation. The county government was never involved in any dealings and we don’t understand what is happening. Nobody will take any single inch of our land,” he said.
Nominated senator Millicent Omanga said the Senate shall enact tougher laws to fight land grabbing across.
Taita Taveta Senator Jones Mwaruma said many residents in the county had no title deeds.