Why Kitui Traders Are Against Senate Visiting Their County

Ken Lusaka
Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka. Traders in Kitui County are opposed to Senate Mashinani [Photo, Courtesy]
Small-scale traders in Kitui Town have lamented that the ongoing Senate Mashinani sitting in Kitui County has disrupted their normal businesses and caused them losses.

The traders said the senate presence in the county headquarters was not beneficial businesswise as they had anticipated.

“We hoped to rake in maximum profits during the week-long Senate sessions in our town but that has not been the case since heavy police presence has disrupted normal operations here,” regretted Susan Kavisa, a mama mboga told KNA.

She said the situation had led to a reduced number of customers especially around the County Assembly Chambers which is hosting the senators.

Joseph Mwangangi, a bodaboda operator, said police had erected numerous roadblocks across the town and cordoned off some streets making it hard for them to manoeuvre their passengers around the town.

“We have been asked to vacate our stage near the County Assembly chambers which has greatly inconvenienced us,” said Mwangangi.

“Only high-end hoteliers have benefited from Senate Mashinani since they are hosting the senators and senate staff. We can’t wait for the sessions to be over so that everything can return to normalcy,” he emphasised.

Small scale trader
Small scale traders [Image, Courtesy]
The Second Edition of Senate Mashinani kicked off its sittings on Monday in Kitui County Assembly Chambers as various hotels recorded full bookings.

According to the Clerk of the Senate Jeremiah Nyegenye, the resolution to hold a sitting of the Senate outside Nairobi was made to give an opportunity to County Assembly Members and staff to learn and borrow best practices from the Senate.

Nyegenye said that the sitting is to promote the work and role of the Senate, and to highlight existing opportunities for people to get involved with a view of encouraging greater public engagement.

Further, he said that they will develop and strengthen partnerships at the County level by creating interest among the public regarding the Business of the Senate.

Members of the public and in particular those from Kitui County and the neighbouring Counties of Makueni and Machakos are invited to attend and participate in proceedings of the Senate during the said sittings.

Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka said the sessions would offer an opportunity to the residents to air the petitions since not everyone can make it to Nairobi saying the Senate is constitutionally mandated to champion the issues of the counties.

Lusaka said both levels of government have a role to create enabling environment for business growth and economic transformation.

He quoted article 126 of the Kenyan Constitution that allows either of the houses to hold sittings across the country saying the sittings are lawfully set.

The Senators will conclude the sittings on Friday, September 20. The inaugural plenary and committee sittings dubbed “Senate Mashinani” were held in Uasin Gishu in September 2018.

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