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Senators visit Kitui as preparations for 'Senate Mashinani' hit top gear

Senate speaker Kenneth Lusaka (Centre) with Kitui governor Charity Ngilu and speaker George Ndotto on Wednesday when senators visited the county in preparation for next months 'Senate Mashinani'. PHOTO|COURTESY 


Senators have for the first toured Kitui County as preparations for next month’s second 'Senate Mashinani' proceedings hit top gear. Speaker Kenneth Lusaka on Wednesday led a delegation of senators who held meetings with the county’s top leadership.

The four-member delegation also included Minority Leader and Siaya senator James Orengo, Murang’a counterpart Irungu Kang'ata and Mutula Kilonzo Junior of Makueni. They paid a visit to governor Charity Ngilu and speaker George Ndotto.

The senators called for empowerment of devolution through increased allocation of funds at a time when the devolved governments are staring at a near collapse as the standoff between the Senate and the National Assembly over the Division of Revenue Allocation Bill, 2019 escalates.

On Tuesday a mediation committee composed of senators and members of the National Assembly failed to agree on the way forward and slated to meet Wednesday next week.

The lawmakers speaking at governor Ngilu’s office called on both sides of the bicameral House to soften their adamant stance on the bill in a bid to solve the impasse.

 Senator Orengo said devolution remained a key decision ever made in the history of Kenya since independence. "Having seen what you are doing here as a county, I well agree that devolution was never a mistake in this country" he said.

The legislators’ tour in Kitui is part of the legislative institution’s preparation for the proceedings that will be held in the County Assembly of Kitui chambers for a week from September 16. Last month a team of senior senate staff were in county as the preparations for the devolved debates commenced.

Mr Lusaka said the 'Senate Mashinani' event will provide the local residents an opportunity to air their views on their priority projects and further engage the senate on diverse matters.

The senate boss reiterated on the need for counties to follow the law in spearheading devolution programmes to seal all corruption loopholes. Several county bosses including Kitui governor are on the spot on allegations of graft.

Governor Ngilu shared the sentiments of the senators on the need to strengthen devolution and improve lives of the people in the rural areas. "It gives great pleasure to see how devolution can influence growth in the rural economies. This can be well realized if there's apt teamwork between the national government and counties", she said.

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