The political wave in the country led Senate Speaker Kenneth Makelo Lusaka to join Kenya Kwanza under the Deputy President Dr. William Ruto of UDA, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetangula.
During a Cross Fire live interview on West FM and Mumbo FM radio on Sunday, the Senate speaker revealed that he was called by the President and was asked on his joining in Kenya Kwanza and he frankly told him how politics has gone local hence his decision to join Ford Kenya would favour him in the 2022 general elections.
He further stated that whatever the government assigns him with his national assembly counterpart Justin Muturi is delivered fully, therefore has no problem with the Head of State, he added that Muturi too did his research and found out that Kenya Kwanza has a future hence made a decision of joining them.
“We have worked well with the government with my national assembly counterpart Muturi and there is nothing we were assigned and failed to deliver, President Uhuru won’t be on the ballot in 2022, you remember Moi helped Uhuru and they lost. They called me and I told them that if 6 MPs in Bungoma County out of 9 are supporting Kenya Kwanza, Senator is in Kenya Kwanza, therefore, just leave me I do my duties but on politics let me go my way since politics has gone local,” stated Lusaka
“Muturi too has done his research and I saw him join Kenya Kwanza in fact signed an MOU with Kenya Kwanza,” he added
Lusaka said that the bad blood that was between him and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula was pure politics and he could not keep grudges, he added that he was not fought by Wetangula alone but Ford Kenya as a party.
“Whatever that happened in 2017 between Senator Wetangula and I happened and is past tense, am a Christian therefore I can’t keep it in my heart I have decided to work with Wetangula, I sat down and studied Ford Kenya as a party and found out that it was indeed a party that has history, by the way I was not fought by Wetangula but Ford Kenya as a party since Kanduyi MP was on the fore front saying Lusaka P.o box Mapera so you can’t say that it was Wetangula that fought me, ” he confidently said
On the accusation by Sirisia MP John Waluke that he contributed to his conviction, Lusaka said that he was not involved in any way but candidly told him to carry his own cross.
“I was not involved in any way about Hon. Waluke’s conviction case, he wanted me to talk to the President but it was impossible since the President by that time was tough on corruption, so I couldn’t risk my job, let him carry his cross,” he asserted
Senate Speaker expressed his delight serving as the third Senate’s speaker and said that he has done his job well and it can be attested by Senators.
He said that Senate has been at the front defending devolution.
He proposed that laws should be made to ensure that counties use automated system to collect revenue to curb loss of money caused by theft in counties that is rampant.
He however, cited challenges he has faced as a Senate speaker as he said that sometimes he gets pressure from Executive, Judiciary and Legislature to do things as they want even if it is unconstitutional but it reaches a time when he said that the law has to be followed.
He said that the main challenge he faced was during changing of Jubilee leadership when Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Markwet) was to be replaced by Kanu’s Samuel Poghisio (West Pokot) while Susan Kihika (Nakuru) position of Majority whip was to be taken by Irungu Kang’ata (Murang’a).
“Honestly, it was hard since the duo were my friends but there was no way I could help them since my hands were tied,” he revealed
“Another challenge was when there was a vote on revenue allocation debate, this was hectic but all in all it came to an end.” Added Speaker Lusaka
He said if given another opportunity he will still serve as the Senate speaker since there are networks.
On devolution, Lusaka said that it has improved many things in counties but the pace at which development has been done is not appealing and as expected.
Former Bungoma Governor used the opportunity to elucidate the plans he had put in place before he was voted in as the first Bungoma Governor as he said that he had a structure, policy, instruments of power that were put in place before anything else kicked off.
“Before I came to vie for Bungoma gubernatorial seat I was a government employee and if you consider my education I did Political Science, Administration and went further and studied for Management of Devolution so when I came, my wish was to help marginalized communities that is why I chose my running mate from Mt. Elgon,” affirmed Lusaka
“After I won elections, I was to form a Cabinet and the County Public Service Board, I talked to Wetangula, Wamunyinyi and Eseli so that I could absorb everybody,” he stated
The first budget was managed by transitional authority.
Lusaka said that he prioritized Agriculture since it is the backbone of the country and majority of Bungoma residents practice farming and rolled out a programme of giving subsidized fertilizer to farmers; he also bought tractors to help plough farms for Bungoma farmers.
“I prioritized Agriculture since our people are farmers I began giving subsidized fertilizer where I was giving 750 bags per ward with a budget of Ksh.6 million, besides that I bought mobile soil labs to test soils, I bought maize driers and installed one in Kaptama, Kopsiro and Tongaren to dry maize, besides that I bought 705 dairy cows gave out to farmers in wards – I had an idea to give out cows to our people if we built a milk factory we will be having raw material, we gave out green houses to youth groups too,” he listed
“I put up Chwele slaughter house and on this I had the vision when I was a Livestock Permanent Secretary, I knew our people had a problem where to sell their chicken that is why I came up with this idea to give ready market to our farmers.” He added
“The Chwele slaughter house capacity is 3000 chickens per day – when elected we shall empower our youth and women groups by giving them chicken to rear so that our factory works.” Optimistic Lusaka said
Bungoma First Governor highlighted what he initiated in education sector during his 5 years tenure that included;
Putting up of High Altitude Training Centre in Mt. Elgon as he said that it is the best building in Bungoma County, he revealed that he was after getting companies to facilitate and sponsor sports activities; he also said that it was the only public centre in Kenya.
He also said that he employed 2000 ECDE teachers and had planned to put them on permanent and pension as he said that he had already given them letters, he constructed 135 ECDE classrooms, increased Vocational Training Centres from 25-85, he employed 380 instructors on permanent and pension terms.
Lusaka stated that scholarship was a policy and was running and was called (Bungoma County scholarship programme) not personalized and not someone’s project.
He said that all children should benefit even those with low marks in local schools.
Bungoma was among first counties to implement ward funds but was opposed by national assembly because they thought it would compete them.
“We were giving Ksh17 million for development Ksh 4 million for bursaries this was to make all wards to be equal not that when the MCA is not subscribing in governor’s things then the ward is sabotaged, we never wanted MCAs to operate under the mercy of the governor,” he confirmed
And on Casuals fate, Lusaka said that casuals have a span of period to work then confirmed to permanent and pension if not are dismissed.
“You can’t keep a casual for 3 years and you don’t pay him/ her that is impunity and against the law,”
On Brigedia- Misikhu road, Lusaka said that he had a vision that it gets tarmarcked since Tongaren had no single tarmac.
“I went and negotiated with the national government which had committed to cater for half the cost, besides that I requested the President to give us Kibabii University charter, construction of Chwele- Lwakhakha road, Musikoma- Mungatsi road and revival of Pan Paper,”
He says if he comes back he will use 100 days to revive all he had started, salvage worker’s morale and continue with projects he would see that are beneficial to Bungoma people that were started by the present regime.