Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, on Tuesday, August 11 caused a storm in the senate with a fiery speech during the debate on the controversial Third Basis Revenue Allocation formula.
As senators debated an amendment by Senator Mithika Linturi to an amendment by Senator Johnson Sakaja on the Finance Committee report, Malala reacted by noting that Senators were focused on the wrong prize.
He stated that the argument on the allocation of 15% of national revenue to counties was unfounded and urged them to focus on the remaining 85%.
Listing various counties, Malala maintained that natural resources including minerals were of no economic benefit to residents of the specific regions.Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala audits Governor Wycliffe Oparanya in the Senate on Thursday, July 2, 2020File
"Turkana has minerals, but the people who benefit are not from the region. Taita Taveta is rich in gemstones, but the people who benefit are not Taita Taveta people.
"Ikolomani has goldmines, but the people of Kakamega do not benefit from this gold," he stated, dismissing the assertion that population was the main factor in the determination of revenue allocation.
While many Senators backed him, he also faced loud opposition from, among others, Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi.
Speaker Kenneth Lusaka was forced to intervene as Wamatangi demanded that Malala substantiate his claim that a project worth Ksh11 billion was completed within one year in Kiambu as he compared it to the pace of government projects in other regions.
Majority Whip Irungu Kang'ata urged Senators to reject the latest amendment by Linturi, stating it would see some counties lose funds immediately as opposed to a phased process.
Malala, however, maintained his stance and cited the woes of sugar millers in Western Kenya where he comes from, stating that they also deserved a share of the national cake.
His sentiments were echoed by Siaya Senator James Orengo, who told the house in a passionate speech that their enemy was the national government.
He argued that the house was lowering itself by debating over Ksh316 billion, advising them to push for larger allocations.
"We are fighting over peanuts. I am coming up with an amendment to ensure that we consider pastoralism, we consider the blue economy, the farms in Kericho because a lot of people don't know what those farms are doing," he stated.
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