Kenya's plan to begin exporting oil in doubt as locals and government are still angling for more oil revenue allocations
A revised version due to be debated in parliament this month only allocates the local communities a paltry 5%.
The Parliament passed a draft bill in 2016 allocating 10% of any state oil revenue to the local communities where it was discovered, 20% to local government and 70% for the central government but President Uhuru Kenyatta never signed the bill leading to protracted disputes.
President Kenyatta while on tour to Turkana County in 2017, engaged in a war of words with Turkana leaders including Turkana Governor over the oil revenue allocations.
“Mtu akisimama hapa hati aseme uhuru ako na haja na mafuta ya wengine, ashidwe shetani, mshenzi yeye” Visibly angry Uhuru stated.
Translated: “if anyone stands here and says I Uhuru wants oil belonging to other people, shame on him, he is a devil and an idiot”
Turkana MP, James Lomenen who was elected under the ruling Jubillee Party now plans to draft an amendment to the bill on Oil Exploration, Development and Production.
“The money allocated to Turkana’s population will not solve their problems. The 30% allocated to them is not enough. That’s 20% for the county and 10% for the local community for us to fight poverty. Who can’t see that we don’t have enough water? We don’t have enough food, we don’t have enough hospitals yet. Our children don’t have schools yet. People are still sleeping on empty stomachs, “ Lomenen told a rally of supporters.
The legislation must be passed before large-scale oil production can begin.
Oil was discovered in 2012 in Turkana, Kenya’s second largest county geographically but the area has been long neglected by successive governments.
The local communities consider these new provisions to be another slap in the face of Turkana, a barren land, where most of the inhabitants live below the poverty line without electricity and running water.
The revenue sharing dispute has hampered the tight schedule of oil companies.
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