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UK High Commissioner pays Speaker Lusaka Courtesy Call

The United Kingdom pledged to strengthen areas of cooperation with the Kenyan Senate headed by the Speaker, Kenneth Lusaka.

Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on the Senate Speaker, UK High Commissioner to Kenya, HE Nic Hailey noted that his country greatly supported devolution.

“We are great supporters of the devolution process and I dare say there can be no better man for the Senate Speaker position.  Having ascended from being a Governor you have a unique grasp of county affairs and can effectively bridge the gap,” noted Hailey.

On his part, Speaker Lusaka affirmed his commitment for a “pro-devolution Senate” that would ensure more resources are sent to the counties for the sake of development.

“While we agitate for more funds to reach the counties, we must make sure that these resources are adequately accounted for. Oversight must be objective and it is also important for Governors to realize that oversight isn’t synonymous with punishment,” said the Speaker.

Speaker Lusaka told the meeting that capacity building for County Assemblies was of critical importance.

“There is urgent need to strengthen County Assemblies so that they can conduct effective oversight at their level while the Senate handles it at a higher level to avoid duplication,” he said.

High Commissioner Hailey noted that his country had invested in capacity development of some of the MCAs who served the previous term.

“Loss of capacity is also something we have to contend with. We had trained quite a good number of MCAs who largely did not come back. That is the price of democracy,” Hailey said.

While discussing the political situation in the country, both parties to the meeting welcomed the move by the President of the Republic of Kenya, HE Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

“That meeting and handshake between the President and the former Prime Minister was an indication of their coming together for the good of the country and will go a long way in healing the country,” Speaker Lusaka observed.

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