EU pledges to support Devolution programmes

June 19, 2013 2:52 pm
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Head of the EU delegation to Kenya agreed with the EU Election Observation Mission to Kenya’s final report that stated the March 4 presidential election results reflected the will of Kenyans/FILE
Head of the EU delegation to Kenya agreed with the EU Election Observation Mission to Kenya’s final report that stated the March 4 presidential election results reflected the will of Kenyans/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 19 – The Head of the European Union (EU) delegation to Kenya Lodewjik Briet has called for the full implementation of the Constitution and more importantly the section on Devolution.

Briet said Devolution would be a useful tool in the eradication of poverty and would help put an end to the impunity that plagued previous governments by entrenching reforms.

“It (the Constitution) is a remarkable document. It is a modern constitution; it contains a bill of rights. It contains a whole chapter on devolution and I think it’s important to say how much importance we also attach to that. And I think we are ready to take up your call. We are ready to stand with you on devolution,” Briet said.

Briet’s statement comes in the immediate aftermath of a standoff between the National Assembly on one side and Governors and Senators on the other over how much should be allocated to the counties in the 2013/2014 financial year.

The National Assembly representative for Kiharu, Irungu Kang’atta, is even spearheading a push for the abolition of the Senate on the grounds that it is an unnecessary burden to the tax payer given there already exist Governors.

As it so happens, President Uhuru Kenyatta also reiterated his, “personal commitment,” to devolution on Wednesday as he directed that Governors be issued with diplomatic passports and special number plates for their official vehicles.

Aside from calling for Kenyans to fully embrace devolution, Briet asked the government to ensure it honours its, “international obligations,” adding that the International Criminal Court (ICC) process is not for the benefit of the Western world.

“I find it unacceptable when an otherwise respectable person suggests that the stories about the victims of the post 2007/2008 election violence are purely Western propaganda. We both have a strong interest in putting those stories to rest,” he said.

That being said, the Head of the EU delegation to Kenya agreed with the EU Election Observation Mission to Kenya’s final report that stated the March 4 presidential election results reflected the will of Kenyans.

“We are keen to work with the government of Kenya. You were good enough to meet with the Chief Election Observer just a few weeks back and I think it is clear by now that we unequivocally accepted the outcome of the elections,” Briet told the Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed.

Briet’s statement went contrary to those given by France and the United States prior to the March 4 general election to the effect that there would be, “consequences,” to electing persons facing charges before the ICC.

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