Lamu, KENYA: Lamu Women Representative Shakila Abdalla has denied allegations of being used by Mombasa-based cartels to frustrate the establishment of a Sh 200 billion Coal plant project in Lamu.
Critics had rumour mills doing rounds that the Women Rep had been heavily bribed to ensure the Coal Plant project does not take off, for the interests of the cartels who are said to be planning to start a different project instead.
Shakila however downplayed the rumors insisting that she is a leader of the people and was only acting in the interest of the people of Lamu.
The MP has been very vocal in the opposition of the Coal project bluntly stating that it carries more harm than good to the people of Lamu and that as a leade she was obligated to ensure such a project doesn’t take place in the county.
The project which is under sponsorship of Amu Power Company, a consortium of two co-sponsors, Gulf Energy and Centum Investment is set to be established at Kwasasi Village in Hindi Division of Lamu County.
Speaking at the Sunsail Hotel in Lamu town on Thursday, she refuted the rumors terming them as damaging and said such allegations were being made by the so called cartels, to frustrate her efforts in fighting for the rights of the people of Lamu.
The MP said she was aware of people who were uncomfortable with her development record and her vocal nature in defending the rights of her people as such were bent on using anything to taint her political reputation.
“I want to make it clear that I have not been paid a dime by anyone.I am doing this out of my own volition and based on the fact that am an elected leader who ought to defend the interests of my people. It’s a war I shall fight to the bitter end.there will be no coal plant in Lamu because it’s bad on health and environment,” said Shakilla.
The Woman legislator also accused the County Government of Lamu, the National Environment and Management Authority (NEMA) and the Energy Regulations Commission (ERC) for trying to force the project on them.
“Based on the past and present research and studies conducted in countries where similar coal projects have been established, the risks, the disadvantages and the hazards all outweigh the benefits.Am also appealing on the President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto to personally come out and state their stand on the matter,” she said.
The woman rep also called on Lamu governor Issa Timamy to break his silence and state whether or not he shall fight for the interests of the people, concerning the establishment of the coal plant.
“The governor’s silence on this matter is extremely loud.we want to understand where he stands or whether the people of Lamu are on their own inn this struggle. We also want NEMA,the ERC and the investors must know that we won’t let them force this on us,”said Shakilla.
The intended Lamu Coal Plant project which is expected to generate 1,050 megawatt of electricity once complete, is part of the Government’s blueprint for producing 5,000MW of electrical power in the next 40 months.