Isaac Ruto hints at joining Raila in plebiscite push


The Council of Governors on Saturday hinted that they will pursue the convergence of the Cord’s Okoa Kenya and their Pesa Mashinani referendum initiatives.

Governors’ chairman Isaac Ruto said the issues being pushed by the two groups were similar since they aim to alleviate poverty.

Mr Ruto said the clamour for devolution will not stop until the counties get enough funds to drive development.

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Speaking in Kisumu during the launch of Pesa Mashinani drive in the region, he dismissed Jubilee coalition leaders who are against increment of funds to 45 per cent of the national budget.

“The issues we are looking forward to solving are the same; the situation of poverty is equally the same across the country,” said Mr Ruto.

The meeting was attended by Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma and senators James Orengo (Siaya) and Boni Khalwale (Kakamega).

Mr Ruto added that the push for more resources to counties cannot wait any longer as being suggested by the Jubilee.

“The money we want belongs to us, our mothers as well as our wives and sisters; it is for all Kenyans and let those insulting us know that governors have nothing to fear,” he said.

Mr Ruto said he has no personal differences with anyone but warned Deputy President William Ruto to stop issuing threats.

“William must know that he is the one with so many cases to answer on matters of accountability; the matters he is raising as divisions are his own,” he added.


Earlier, Governor Ruto and his Kericho counterpart Paul Chepkwony had vowed to continue their push for a referendum even after their colleagues from the region backed off.

They also accused their party, URP, of going against its promise of protecting the devolution.

The two were speaking earlier in Kuresoi South in Nakuru County. The two who were accompanied by the area MP Zakayo Cheruiyot said they are ready for political consequences that might come as a result of their defiance.

“We know that the government is against this referendum and there are threats of ejecting us from the party if we persist but we will remain firm in our fight for more devolved funds,” said Mr Ruto.

The Bomet governor dismissed claims that the Pesa Mashinani campaign was a failure and accused his colleagues of being intimidated by the government to abandon the referendum push.

“The government is threatening and intimidating governors who appear vocal in this campaign and we are sure that the referendum will get support from the public,” he said.

“Our people want more functions and funds devolved to counties so that Kenyans can stop depending on their leaders to hold fundraisers to support development projects,” said Ruto.

Deputy President Ruto is expected in the Central Rift after he returns from an official visit to Switzerland on Sunday as he pursues a multi-pronged offensive against governors allied to his party who are clamouring for a popular vote to increase funding to counties.

The DP is expected to hold a closed-door meeting with county leaders at the Rift Valley Sports Club before presiding over a church fundraiser in Nakuru West Constituency.


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