The rivalry between Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa and the county’s Senator Boni Khalwale came to a head on Sunday after the former accused the latter of costing him Ksh1 billion in development money.
Addressing a church service in Navakholo Sub-County on Sunday, Barasa claimed that Khalwale went against the Commission on Revenue Allocation which had allocated all counties Ksh407 billion.
He further explained that the Senator’s decision to shoot down the proposal to increase funding for the counties, during a Senate vote, cost the counties Ksh22 billion.
“We support development and the work of devolution is to bring development. Senators, you must support devolution. You are the defenders of devolution and we want our senators to stand for devolution,” he told the congregation.
Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa holds a County Budget Review and Outlook Paper (CBROP 2023) meeting on October 4, 2023.
County Government of Kakamega
“Our Senator (Khalwale) blocked money for development from coming here. Ksh22 billion was less than the amount recommended by the Commission on Revenue Allocation. Instead of Ksh407 billion, we were only allocated Ksh385 billion because of Boni Khalwale.”
Kakamega County Government alone reportedly lost Ksh1 billion.
“Because of losing Ksh22 billion, Kakamega county alone lost Ksh1 billion which could have boosted road construction, water, and medicine purchases,” he added.
Khalwale, however, responded with a sarcastic two-word remark to the governor’s lamentations hinting that he was not about to budge into the demand.
“Utajua haujui (you will realise you are mistaken),” Khalwale quote-replied Barasa.
Earlier, while addressing a congregation at Emwira Catholic Church in Matungu, the Senator had accused Barasa of selectively developing some regions within the county while abandoning others.
Specifically, he claimed that the governor had awarded his home church Ksh2 million drawn from the public coffers while denying Matungu churches much-needed development.
“We do not have a budget like him. He gets the money from the county government. I will instill pressure against him for five years until he delivers for you,” he stated while declaring his plan to vie for the county’s gubernatorial seat in 2027. The race will place him in direct competition with Barasa who will be defending the seat for a second term.
At his event, Barasa led a fundraiser that raised Ksh1.6 million while Khalwale aided the church he attended in raising Ksh800,000 for development.
Kakamega senator Boni Khalwale chairing Governor Kawira Mwangaza special senate hearing on Tuesday December 27, 2022.
The Senate of Kenya