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Senate Speaker says oversight of counties to end graft

 Senate speaker Amason Kingi during the Senate plenary at the Senate Chambers, Parliament buildings, Nairobi [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

Senate Speaker  Amason Kingi has said prudent use of Oversight Fund allocated to senators will end corruption in counties.

Kingi revealed that senators have been empowered to inspect and evaluate county projects from initiation to completion.

Speaking in West Mugirango, Nyamira county during a funds drive in aid of a church on Saturday, the Speaker urged counties to utilise resources on meaningful projects.

“Corruption is thriving in counties but those largely involved in allocation of resources to counties have resolved to protect public coffers. Senators have oversight funds to ensure that they reach the grassroots and inspect the projects,” he said.

Kingi was optimistic that corruption will be a thing of the past should senators utilise the funds properly. “Senators will ensure that the budgets passed in the assemblies are implemented without alteration,” he said.

He said the  Controller of Budget had been advised to release quarterly reports to the Senate.

“The reports must be timely and presented to each of the 47 counties. We need to have proper documentation of projects,” he said.

Hosted by Nyamira Senator Okong'o Omogeni, Kingi said the bid to have Raila Odinga ascend to the African Union Commission chairmanship should be supported by all and sundry.

“It is not about tribal and party politics. The President has put aside political differences to ensure that Raila gets the opportunity to represent the country at the AU. It is not an ODM or Kenya Kwanza affair, this is a resolve from all our leaders and Kenyans that we must support Raila,” he said.

The Speaker defended President William Ruto's efforts to stabilise the economy saying the prices of commodities have started dropping while the shilling has stabilised.

“We got to the office and people began demonstrations and protesters across the country. Kenyans need to exercise some patience,” he said.

“The cost of cooking flour has gone down, the shilling has stabilised and much more is being done to have our agricultural sector revitalized. The cost of living has not gone down yet, but the President has put measures to ensure that our people have a stable economy,” he added.

Kingi said the President needs support from all leaders to revive the economy and create a conducive business environment.

“We need to encourage our people to work smart by providing them with an enabling environment. Let us continue to provide them with basic farm inputs,” he said.

Kisumu Senator Prof Tom Ojienda who had accompanied the Speaker called on Kenyans to remain united and welcomed President Ruto’s support for Raila's African Union Commission chairmanship.

“Politics should never be a tool to create tribal wars in our country. Our leaders have shown a good example and we must applaud them for leading from the front. We are all in the same fold that we must change our country,” he said.

Omogeni called on President Ruto to intervene and end the ongoing doctors' strike saying the poor were struggling to access medicare from private hospitals.

“He is the last man standing and we call upon him to exercise his powers and have the strike called off,” he said

The senator also asked the President to crack the whip on cartels supplying Kenyans with fake fertiliser. “Be it the Cabinet Secretary or top government officials, our call is that they all get arrested for causing agony to our farmers,” he said.

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