Former Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka elected Senate Speaker

Newly–elected Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka 

Former Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka has been elected Speaker of the Senate after garnering  42 votes againts his closest challenger, NASA’s Farah Maalim, who got 25 votes.

Returning Officer Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye, declared Kenneth Magelo Lusaka the second Senate Speaker in a poll that went to round two after all the candidates failed to garner 45 out of 67 votes required for one to be declared winner.

In the first round Lusaka got 40 votes, Maalim 23 and Ekwe Ethuro two.

President Uhuru had backed Ken Lusaka for the Senate Speaker position a move that was lauded by some of the Members of Parliament from Western region.

In the General Election, Lusaka delivered more votes for President Uhuru compared to what he got in 2013 in the region perceived as Opposition stronghold.

President Uhuru garnered 126,475 votes, Kakamega (63,399), Busia (34,239) and Vihiga (18,275).

Jubilee also secured eight out of the 33 seats, an improvement from two seats they got in 2013.

NASA senators Moses Wetang’ula (Bungoma) and James Orengo (Siaya) have raised integrity issues against Ken Lusaka, accusing him of misusing public funds during his tenure as Bungoma Governor.

They said that he could not contest for the Senate Speaker position unless he had been cleared by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) according to the Constitution.

But Nyegenye ruled that the allegations against the former Governor had not been proven and the petition fronted by Orengo had not been adopted by the House so as to be considered as a condemnation on Lusaka.

In 2013 beat Alfred Khangati, Maurice Makhanu, Jack Tumwa and Wabwoba Walinywa to clinch the Bungoma governorship.

He would later start cooperating with the government eventually dissolving his New People party to  join Jubilee on whose ticket he unsuccessfully defended his seat prior to being rewarded with the speaker’s job.

In September 2015, Lusaka was in the news the wrong reasons when an audit revealed that the county had spent Sh1,093,200 on 10 wheelbarrows for the Bungoma slaughterhouse. That made it Sh109,320 per wheelbarrow.

Hell broke loose but the governor did not make matters any better. In response to public outrage, he said that: "The information that I am getting from the veterinary department is that these are not the ordinary wheelbarrows that we know. These are wheelbarrows that are made of stainless, non-carcinogenic material and are used in the food industry.”

Egg on the face unbearable, he later said he had ordered investigations and ordered the tender and evaluation committees to justify the purchase.