- Daily Nation
Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka came out to defend himself after being on the receiving end of stinging criticism over the heated debate on the Third Basis Revenue Allocation Formula.
A record nine sittings in the Senate failed to resolve the impasse over the formula leading to the formation of a 12-member committee on Monday, August 17 to find consensus.
The sittings have been loud and chaotic, with emotional arguments taking center stage. Among accusations Lusaka has faced is failing to control and moderate the debate.
A perception has also emerged that the Speaker is a lame duck controlled by the executive. During a TV interview on Thursday, August 20, Lusaka sought to defend his decisions during the sittings.Senate Speaker Hon. Lusaka Kenneth during the 6th Senate Leadership Retreat on March 13, 2020.
He maintained that he was not a lame duck as many had argued, stating that he had chosen a non-combative approach to ensure smooth running of the House.
Offering an example, he referenced a fiery speech by Senator Kipchumba Murkomen on the floor of the house on Monday, August 17 in which he accused Lusaka of sacrificing him.
"You sacrificed me and Kihika (Susan - former Majority Whip). Don't sacrifice Kenya Mr. Speaker," Murkomen had stated.
Murkomen was referring to his removal as Majority Leader, with his statement in the House fueling speculation that Lusaka was being influenced by State House as the ouster was approved by the highest echelons of the ruling Jubilee Party.
Lusaka claimed that the criticism of his handling of the debate, and allegations of executive influence, were meant to sway him to support one side of the revenue formula argument.
"I have a lot of experience in administration. Sometimes people want to trap you, they want to take you in a certain direction. So that you can see you're being provoked to take a certain action.
"If you throw someone out of the chamber, it becomes chaotic and they achieve what they want. Sometimes when you learn that is the intention because someone wants to disrupt the proceedings for certain reasons, I choose not to play along," Lusaka asserted.
He stated that he ceased being a member of the Jubilee Party when he was elected Speaker in 2017 and therefore could not make decisions under influence from any party.
Lusaka reiterated that, as a Speaker, he did not vote or contribute to debates but was only tasked with moderating them.
He brushed off comparisons made between him and former National Assembly speakers Kenneth Marende and Francis Ole Kaparo.
"It's a style of management. I hear people comparing me to Ole Kaparo (Francis - former National Assembly Speaker). Kaparo was the Speaker in 1993. This is 2020. Circumstances are different," he stated.
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