Governors are now plotting to form a new political party.
They have already agreed on the name Chama cha Ugatuzi or Devolution Party of Kenya. The governors have tasked certain individuals to proceed with the process of registration.
Bomet governor Isaac Rutto, who was last week re-elected as the chairman of the Governor’s council is said to be instrumental in formation of the new party.
Those who have agreed to be part of the new scheme fear that they may be frustrated by Jubilee leaders due to the positions they have taken on devolution hence the need for a plan B.
Yesterday, Kuresoi South MP Zakayo Cheruiyot confirmed to the Star that the party is under formation and its symbol is presently being worked on.
The plan, according to the insiders, is to have Phase One of registration before proceeding to Phase Two where they will market the new outfit by branding themselves (governors) as the custodians of devolution.
The governors have agreed that at the appropriate time, they will settle on one of their own as the presidential candidate and embark on popularizing that candidate in all the counties.
Initially, some governors had suggested that they settle on Kanu but this idea has since been abandoned and instead an agreement reached to form a new outfit which will be aggressively marketed.
During the elections of the council of governors last Thursday in Naivasha, Rutto retained his seat after he was unanimously re-elected.
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero was however replaced as the council’s deputy chair with Salim Mvurya of Kwale. Dr Kidero lacked a proposer after Mvurya was suggested by Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga and seconded by Makueni’s Prof Kivutha Kibwana.
Yesterday, the Star learned that Kidero was kicked out as vice chairman of the council because the governors believe he may not be a team player in their new scheme.
“The thinking is that he is either pro-Uhuru and Ruto, or interested in his own strategy and his own goals,” said a source.
According to Cheruiyot, the governors have billions of shillings in devolution funds available, and will each use the resources to market the party.
And yesterday, the Council of Governors demanded that Senate to increase budget allocation to the counties from the current Sh226 billion to Sh240 billion.
This according to the council will help address the increased devolved functions in the counties.
Rutto yesterday said the counties had made strides in health care, water, roads, education and social care.
“We have serious deficit in our budget and we are calling on the Senate and the central government to raise its county allocations from Sh226billion to Sh240billion,” he said.
Rutto at the same time said that they would engage the senate so that hospitals like Kericho and Kabaranet which are serving high populations could be elevated to Level V.
He noted that the governors were ready to deliver on devolution despite various challenges which include low budget allocations and the proposed legislations.
“The council full supports the rights of women and we are opposed to any move to scrap their seats as one way of addressing the high wage bill,” he said.
The Bomet governor at the same time announced that they had resolved their differences with the senate after holding a meeting in Eldoret a week ago.
“We met with the senate last week and we have resolved out differences and vowed to make sure that devolution succeeds,” he said.
Addressing the press in Simba Lodge Naivasha, Meru Governor Peter Munya identified several legislations which according to them were anti-devolution.
“We are ready to go to court to oppose some of these legislations which are meant to water down our functions and powers,” he said.
Munya noted that the governors’ input was not considered when some of the bills were presented before parliament which is against the law.
He pointed to the emblem bill which is waiting presidential assent noting that this was meant to reduce their prestige and dignity.
Another bill causing ripples among the Governors is the move to create the county board which would be chaired by the Senator with the governor serving as the secretary.