Monday, 5 May 2014

Senators Should Allow Devolution to Grow - Wetangula

Devolution is at the heart of majority of Kenyans and it is the responsibility of relevant constitutional organs to defend and protect it.

The coming into being of devolved units early last year has realized enormous development and this, if well protected; Kenyans will enjoy more fruits that come with Devolution.

However, it is disturbing to see some forces ganging up to frustrate, intimidate and try to humiliate Governors in the name of holding them accountable. This is not the spirit of devolution.

Yesterday’s remarks by the Deputy President Mr. William Ruto at a function in Murang’a which was attended by Senators, Members of the National Assembly and MCAs touching on the integrity of Governors were just the tip of the iceberg. It send out a clear message that Jubilee administration is not for Devolution.

The DP and his group outrightly intimidated Governors particularly when speakers (including himself) incited Members of County Assemblies against the Governors. The meeting in Murang’a was like a lynch mob trading their guns against Governors accusing them of all manner of wrong doings.

The support for MCAs to rout Governors was in bad taste and the Deputy President ought to weigh his words when it comes to such matters. Each Governor is individually accountable for any wrong-doing. One Governors’ mistake should not be made to be a ‘collective responsibility’ for all the Governors. We must stop this cheap and unpopular politics.

Of concern is the manner with which some Senators are using their offices to harass and intimidate Governors and their staff. Annoyingly, is the fact that some of these Senators tend to speak with authority as if they speak for the Senate Leadership. This must stop. A Governor is not an appointee of anyone, they are elected just like Senators and Members of the National Assembly are and each one of these categories must respect the other.

 Senators should desist from making statements that could have far reaching implications especially on constitutional matters that involve Devolution. The Senate leadership should provide guidance on what Senators should say in public to avoid them from over-stepping their mandate. Senators must stick to their role as spelled out in the constitution and should do their work without interfering with that of the Governors.

As the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), we shall not stand aside and look as some forces try to kill Devolution in the name of providing checks and balances on county bosses. Devolution must be left to grow and Governors allowed to exercise their constitutional mandate of fostering development at the grassroots level.

CORD will not allow any organ of the government to frustrate Devolution for personal gains. This is not why Kenyans voted for the current constitution; they supported it so as to have resources trickle down to them from the seat of power.

Endless supremacy battles will only slow down the Governors’ work and in the end kill Devolution completely.

Sen. Moses Wetangula
CORD Co- Principal
Senate Minority Leader
Senator Bungoma – County.

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