Governors disown referendum push

August 15, 2013 3:38 pm
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The Chairman of the Council of Governors Isaac Ruto said the fresh referendum idea had nothing to do with the county leaders' push for constitutional review to grant more powers to Senators/FILE
The Chairman of the Council of Governors Isaac Ruto said the fresh referendum idea had nothing to do with the county leaders’ push for constitutional review to grant more powers to Senators/FILE
NAIROBI Kenya, Aug 15 – Governors have disowned a fresh move by allies of opposition leader Raila Odinga for a constitution referendum to change the presidential election system, saying that push has no benefits on devolution.

The Chairman of the Council of Governors Isaac Ruto said the fresh referendum idea had nothing to do with the county leaders’ push for constitutional review to grant more powers to Senators.

“We want to assert and reiterate that governors are willing and ready to move on with issues that touch on the common man,” he affirmed.

Ruto said the governors remain steadfast in their quest for an amendment in the Constitution that will give more powers to the Senate because it was weakly anchored in the Constitution.

“Devolution is the most vital thing in the Constitution and the Senate should be able to deliver on its mandate of protecting Devolution,” he observed, adding that a strong Senate would ensure counties are adequately funded.

“We want to have a very predictable provision that assures revenue to the counties so that as we move forward. We want to raise the (allocated) amount to 45 percent (of national revenues) which is not an arbitrary figure; it is Sh313 billion only.”

On Wednesday, Odinga’s aide Eliud Owalo launched a campaign for constitution review to have a president elected through a system similar to that used in the United States of America – the Electoral College.

But the governors have distanced themselves from the initiative.

“This is the referendum that belongs to Wanjiku (common Kenyan), the rest is not ours,” said Ruto after a meeting of governors in Nairobi on Thursday.

He added that, “We are hearing from other quotas that there are some people who are bringing other agendas into this referendum, we are committed as governors both in Jubilee and CORD to remain faithful to these three issues we have raised today.”

“Those who have other agendas should wait for another day,” he recommended.

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