Former Bungoma Governor, 'Wheelbarrows' His Way To Senate Speaker

Former Bungoma Governor, Ken Lusaka. PHOTO|COURTESY
In what many analysts call a reward for his efforts, Mr. Ken Lusaka was today elected as the Speaker of the Senate in Kenya. He lost to his rival, Wycliffe Wangamati in the just concluded elections. Many will remember him for the wheelbarrow scandal in Bungoma County that left tongues wagging after a reported Sh.1.09 million. He said they were 'non-carcinogenic'.

After rallying calls by President Kenyatta yesterday, the former Governor has been elected the second Senate speaker in a vote that went to Round Two.

Mr. Lusaka, with the backing of Jubilee Party senators, the majority in the House, got 42 votes out of the 67 that were cast.

Former National Assembly Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim came second with 25 votes.

The vote went into the second round after none of the six candidates garnered the mandatory two-thirds of the total vote, 45 out of 67, required to be declared the winner. In the first round, Mr Lusaka garnered 40 votes as Mr Maalim managed 23.

The Head of State had been clear at the Jubilee Party Parliamentary Group Meeting on Wednesday at State House, Nairobi that the two are the party’s favourites.

"I will seek to ensure that the relationship between the Senate and the county governments is improved. We want to put the issues we have behind us,” he said after the election.

Word already went round that his election will ruin the relationship with Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, who was especially critical of his term in office as governor.

Bungoma residents inspecting a wheelbarrow that cos Sh 109,000. PHOTO|THE STAR
During the incident in 2015, Mr Lusaka was questioned for hours over inflated prices for wheelbarrows bought by the county government in 2014.

Reports of the purchase of the 10 wheelbarrows at Sh109,000 each sparked protests. They were bought by the county’s department of Agriculture for a slaughterhouse.

Mr. Lusaka declined to discuss details of his engagement with the detectives when he left the interrogation room at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) headquarters in Nairobi during the time.He was also questioned on other procurement issues.

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