Kenya turning into a police state, Farah Maalim

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Former National Assembly deputy Speaker Farah Maalim addressing the press at his residence in Garissa today. He claimed that Kenya is slowly turning into a police state

Kenya is slowly turning into a police state, former Deputy Speaker Farah Malim has claimed.

            Farah said Monday’s dramatic arrest of senators Cleophas Malala (Kakamega), Christopher Lang’at (Bomet) and Stephen Lelegwe (Samburu) by DCI officers in Nairobi and who were later driven to their respective counties to face different charges said the detention was ‘uncalled for’.

            Farah who was addressing the press at his Garissa residence today said: “we are seeing a situation where Kenya is slowly but surely slipping into the olden days of a police state.”

            “I am personally deeply worried by the manner in which the executive is trying to muzzle the legislature and the judiciary. This is unacceptable,” he added.

            Kenya Livestock Marketing Council chair Dubat Amey said that the direction the senate debate is taking will eventually divide the country.

            “President Uhuru being a symbol of national unity should hold this country together. To keep a country together is not hard but when cracks develop, it’s not easy to bring the country together again,” Amey said.  

            According to political pundits the arrest of the three senators was meant to tilt the senate vote on the now contentious Third Basis revenue sharing vote. The trio have since been released unconditionally.

            The lawmakers were opposed to the government-backed formula and are part of a 25-member grouping from 19 counties that will lose money if the formula was adopted and six from the gaining counties, who have insisted that devolution should be about equity and not losers and winners.

            Both the national and county governments are in favour of the second-generation formula revenue retained in sharing out the billions this year, as it seeks to increase the devolved units’ revenue share to Sh348 billion.

            Maalim criticized Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka’s inability to control the house, something that has seen the house adjourned for a record nine times.

            “I have a feeling that there is a lot of ignorance in Lusaka’s inability to transcend from the old traditional executive that he played as the governor and as an administrator. There is a problem with the manner in which he leads the house business,” he said.

            The 12-member senate committee that was constituted on Monday co-chaired by Moses Wetangula and Johnstone Sakaja has already hit the ground running as it races against time to develop a formula agreeable to both parties.

            Maalim however poured cold water on the committee saying that nothing much will come out of it noting that nothing will stop the executive from finding its way into the committee and influence the final outcome. 

            Garissa governor Ali Korane regretted that the stalemate has already hurt operations in the country adding, things are only getting worse by the day.

            “I condemn the ploy to further sideline and deprive the historically marginalized regions in our country by reducing their share of devolved funds,” Korane said.

“I call upon the Senate ad hoc committee that was formed to reach a consensus on the revenue sharing formula to see to it that there is equity among all the sibling 47 counties in Kenya,” he added.