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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Stop threats to governors, Raila tells President

Cord leader Raila Odinga Sunday accused President Kenyatta of intimidating governors in an attempt to stop their push for a referendum.

In a quick rejoinder to the President’s call for Jubilee governors supporting the vote to quit, Mr Odinga charged that the government was arm-twisting governors allied to the ruling coalition who “are just presenting their people’s demands.”

“President Uhuru has told governors in Jubilee to resign. Let me answer him. When did the organs of the Jubilee alliance meet to pass a resolution that they will oppose the referendum? Where is that decision from?”

“President Uhuru should not to put his hand on the mouths of governors. They were elected by the people and it is the people who are sending them to demand for more money,” the opposition leader told a crowd gathered at Kibera’s Kamukunji grounds in Kiswahili.

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The Cord leader, accompanied by 10 current and former MPs, was responding to President Kenyatta’s call for governors in Jubilee who are supporting the referendum to quit and seek re-election on different parties. The President was speaking while on a tour of Busia.

President Kenyatta’s call followed a series of threats from the government to weaken the governor’s referendum push.

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The county chiefs want to among others, increase county budget allocation from the national government. The current Constitution sets 15 per cent as the minimum.

PARALLEL REFERENDUM

But Cord is also pushing for a parallel referendum that has six issues, among them the increase in allocation for the counties to 45 per cent.

Two weeks ago, some governors in the ruling alliance developed cold feet and announced that they will not back for vote push.

But Cord yesterday defended its referendum push saying the government declined to discuss with them all the alternatives.

“Referendum clouds have gathered, now they are running scared because it has started to rain on them. This is just a drizzle. They should be ready for El Niño.”

“What we are asking is not something we have imagined. If you go to Nigeria, the Federal government remains with only 48 per cent. The rest goes to states.”

Mr Odinga accused the government of lying to the public by using the 2009 national budget to calculate the percentage of money sent to counties.

“They are saying 46 per cent has been sent there already but forty-six per cent of which budget? They are using figures of 2009 to lie to Kenyans. If you take the current budgetary allocation, it’s just 12 per cent of the budget,” he said.

-nation.co.ke

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