24 August 2013

Kenya: 38 Deputy Governors Pledge to Support a Referendum

Nairobi — 38 Deputy Governors from across the country have now expressed support for the referendum on devolution saying it is the only way to build capacity within the counties.

Speaking to Capital FM News following a meeting in Mombasa, Narok Deputy Governor Evelyn Aruwasa who was also elected as the chairperson of the Deputy Governors forum stated that the referendum will ensure that more funds are taken to the counties.

She further says that it will also ensure that the senate is strengthened so as to protect devolution.

"We have resolved that all of us will support the referendum. It is the only way to bring change to the counties and to ensure that we as leaders perform our work effectively," she said.

Her sentiments were echoed by Nairobi Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke who stated that they would go for nothing short of a 45 percent increase in funds from the National government.

"Without sufficient funds for the counties, devolution will not succeed," he said.

The Chairman of the Governors Council Isaac Ruto who also attended the meeting reiterated that a referendum is the only way to resolve the issue of funding to counties.

On Friday, he had stated that he will continue with the push for a referendum despite opposition from the government.

He warned leaders against politicizing the issue because "it has nothing to do with the opposition."

The Bomet Governor accused the national government of trying to hijack the devolution process saying that this will limit their capacity.

He further explained that many leaders were more focused on political affiliations rather than service delivery to Kenyans who elected them.

During the meeting in Mombasa, other officials elected to the Deputy Governors forum included Isiolo deputy Governor Mohamed Guleid who is the Vice Chairman and Mueke who was appointed as the Organising Secretary.

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