Governors vow to move on with referendum despite opposition from Jubilee

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Ruto and GovernorsKENYA: Governors have vowed to push on with their referendum agenda even as the Jubilee Coalition plans to oppose the move which has lately kicked off a stormy debate.

Mr Isaac Ruto the chairman of the Governors Council, his Tana River Counterpart Hussein Dado said that the referendum agenda will be anchored on only three issues which the people will be asked to make a decision on.

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We have identified three key areas that we want the people to vote on with the first being to strengthen the Senate so as to facilitate and protect devolution,” Ruto said.

Ruto said: €œWe are seeking to increase allocation to Counties from 15 per cent to 45 per cent of the total audited national revenue out of which 2.5 per cent to go directly to the women and youth, 2.5 per cent to go to the wards as ward development fund to be administered by democratically elected ward committees.”

The third agenda is to have primary and secondary schools infrastructure to be developed by County governments.

€œIn 50 years the national government has done little to build schools and the people expect the County governments to take over the functions,€ Ruto said.

Dado said the 47 Governors from all political divides were unanimous and they did not want party politics to be introduced into the referendum agenda.

€œWe do not want any politics to be introduced into the agenda being fronted by the Governors because we are all in agreement that political parties issues will take a back seat,” Dado said.

Dado also added that it was wrong for MPs to seek to deny the Counties funds for construction of roads as it was not in the spirit of devolution.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka last Friday abandoned their crusade for a referendum on the presidential and parliamentary system of government.

Raila and Kalonzo said Coalition for Reforms and Democracy ( CORD) of which they are co-leaders would suspend the push for referendum on the matter.

I am in agreement that the matters CORD wanted to be put under a referendum can wait for another day. It is in the interest of the country that devolution works,€ Raila said.

Raila was responding to calls from Ruto who had appealed to the two leaders during a Law Society of Kenya (LSK) annual Conference in Mombasa to leave Governors to proceed with their agenda.

This issue about the referendum and wheather presidential or parliamentary system is good can wait for another day,Kalonzo said.

Raila and Kalonzo said it was important thatdevolution is protected so as to allow for equitable distribution of resources across the country.

€œI am appealing to the CORD leadership to allow the Governors to push for referendum on the three issues they have identified because your attempt to bring on board other matters would distort the whole process and polarise the people,€ Ruto said.

Raila has lately repeatedly stated that the current Presidential system was not good for the country and should be abolished in favour of the parliamentary system which was previously applied in the country.

The former PM had stated that CORD would propose the matter be subjected to a referendum, a move that has generated a lot of political heat.-standardmedia.co.ke

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