Petroleum and Mining Cabinet Secretary John Munyes has accused politicians and the county government of sabotaging the construction of the oil pipeline from Turkana County to Lamu port.
Addressing the press at Urum, Loima Sub County on the sidelines of the celebrations to commemorate the first anniversary of the Kenya-Uganda MOU on cross-border peace and development, Munyes expressed concern that leaders in Turkana County were opposing the project yet the county would be the greatest beneficiary of the transportation of oil.
“Some leaders are just fighting this project. You can’t imagine four counties accepting and Turkana county opposing this project. The problem is the Turkana county government yet it is supposed to support the national government to deliver this project,” said Munyes.
“We have done everything that is required to deliver this project yet it is Turkana County which is lagging behind,” he added.
He said land is required for the pipeline just like roads and railway line construction adding that the pipeline would not interfere with grazing land of the pastrolists.
Further the CS clarified that the compensation aspect would be handled by the National Land Commission in accordance with the law.
He appealed to leaders to support the project because it would allow the county to access water from Turkwel dam and also boost irrigation in the county.
“This is a matter of national interest and we have a timeline of 15 months. You can’t stop roads, railway construction and you can’t stop the pipeline,” he said.
He said the target of 2022 production of oil would be pushed to 2023-2024 because of the Covid-19 pandemic adding that the country would be able to produce 80,000 barrels of oil daily.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority leader Samuel Poghisio has expressed confidence that the senate would be able to unlock the stalemate on revenue sharing formula and allow counties access at least 50 percent of their funds within one week.
Poghisio, the West Pokot Senator, who attended the celebrations said parliament is capable of passing a legislation to allow the counties to access 50 percent of the revenues to ensure they do not halt their operations completely within one week.
“We are trying to see that before the formula we can amend the Public Finance Management Act to see to it that counties get some funds to be able to operate,” said Poghisio.
He said the governors should avoid bashing the senators saying the issue was emotive and it is only the senate that can unlock the stalemate. He said instead of governors issuing threats they should allow the senate to complete its work.
By Peter Gitonga