Opposition MPs are free to meet me, says President Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta Saturday said that politicians from the opposition are free to talk to him on development issues.
Kenyatta said CORD party leaders should not panic when they see him meeting Members of Parliament from their ranks.
“Don’t forget that I was elected to serve all Kenyans and we have to talk to the leaders on their development priorities,” he said.
The President said that it is the people who will decide which directions their leaders will take and his priority was to serve the people.
“When the people come to Jubilee, the leaders will follow,” he said.
Kenyatta was speaking in Kiamugumo Girls Secondary School in Kirinyaga County at a thanksgiving ceremony for Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru.
“Don’t fear when we meet leaders from CORD. Where is the problem when I talk to them to know their development priorities,” he said.
The President criticised the calls for a referendum as a misplaced argument that is full of contradictions.
He said the agitation for increased funding for the Counties was not justified.
The President cited the fact that more than Sh30 billion was unused out of the Sh190 billion that was allocated to counties in the last financial year.
He also said that the funding for counties in the current financial year was raised by Sh36 billion from the previous year.
“If we raised the funding by Sh36 billion why can’t we work together to expand our economy because we will be able to raise it even higher,” he said.
The President called on those calling for a referendum to be mindful of Kenyans who are already overtaxed because increasing allocation for counties will lead to more taxation.
“Their argument is full of contradictions because they say the cost of living is high and still ask for more funds for counties which will lead to more taxes that will lead to increase in taxes,” he said.
The President said Kenyans should work together to expand the economy to increase the tax base so that higher revenue can go to the Government.
The Head of State said some Governors were supporting the referendum calls because saying ‘pesa machinani’ (money for the grassroots) seems popular to them.
Close to 30 MPs who attended the thanksgiving ceremony said they opposed the referendum calls.
Those who spoke included Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma and Kibera MP Simba Arati.
Kimilili MP Chris Wamalwa who is the deputy chief whip for CORD also addressed the gathering.
President Kenyatta said it was a sign of political maturity to allow the CORD legislators to address the ceremony and speak on the referendum calls.
“Allowing Ranguma and Arati to defend their referendum calls is a sign of healthy democracy,” he said.