H.E Kalonzo Musyoka’s address to Taita Taveta County Assembly

The Hon. Speaker of the Taita Taveta County Assembly, Hon. Members of the Taita Taveta County Assembly, All Protocols Observed! Good Afternoon!

It gives me great pleasure to address this Assembly today. Taita Taveta is the first County Assembly since the 2017 General Election to grant me the privilege to share my ideas with its Members. For this, I say: Asanteni sana!

First of all, let me extend my sincere appreciation to the entire leadership of this County, including Governor Granton Graham Samboja, Deputy Governor Madam Majala Mlagui, the Speaker, the County Commissioner and his team, Members of the County Assembly, as well as all members of staff of both the County Assembly and the County Government. I appreciate your valiant effort of working together to make Taita Taveta a great County. Your unity is your strength. Great things happen when you work together. Keep up the team spirit!

Owing to the tight schedule of my engagements today, I request that you let me keep my speech as brief as possible. I hope that God will grant me another opportunity to engage with you in detail next time I visit.

For now, however, I go straight to the gist of my speech.

First of all, is the elephant in the room. This concerns the issue of revenue sharing between this County and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). As you all know, Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks comprise over 60 per cent of the Taita Taveta County landmass. It is only fair that county residents should fully benefit from the tourism revenues generated through these parks.

I am aware of a pending petition by Governor Samboja before High Court concerning this matter, so I will not delve into the details of the petition, lest I am accused of engaging in matters sub judice. The bottom line, however, is that Taita Taveta County, just like all other counties bordered by national parks and reserves, should directly benefit from the revenues generated therein. It is not only the right thing to do; it is also the pragmatic thing to do to strengthen Devolution.

We are all aware that the thorny issue of revenue sharing for Counties has been resolved. I urge the County Assembly not to abdicate its oversight role of ensuring that money allocated for the County is used for exactly the same purpose it has been budgeted for. There should be no room for pilferage of public funds, and wananchi must get value for their money. You all know that the WDM-K does not entertain corruption within its echelons. Neither I nor the Party will be ready to defend anyone caught engaging in corrupt deals, and particularly those concerning theft of County funds. Anyone found culpable will have to carry his/her own cross.

I have been an ardent supporter for the formation of the Ward Development Fund. I am aware that a Motion to actualize the Fund was defeated in Parliament recently. However, all is not lost. The WDM-K, in its submissions to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Task Force, pitched for the creation of Ward Development Fund so as to take development as close to the grassroots as possible. I am quite optimistic that the Fund will be actualized with the passing of the BBI in the anticipated Referendum.

I invite Taita Taveta County residents and the rest of Kenya to join me in my journey towards the realization of my dream for a better, more prosperous Nation. Wiper Party is the party of choice and I want to welcome you to the party that will form the next Government.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL! GOD BLESS KENYA!

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