Referendum push is to empower counties – Nyong’o

August 20, 2013 3:45 pm
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Party Secretary General Anyang' Nyong'o said County level governments ought to get their fair share of the national revenue allocation to enable them function/FILE
Party Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o said County level governments ought to get their fair share of the national revenue allocation to enable them function/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 20 – The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) on Tuesday said that one of the issues they are pushing for in their referendum campaign is to increase the powers of County Governments and the Senate.

Party Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o said County level governments ought to get their fair share of the national revenue allocation to enable them function.

“We are pushing for the referendum so that we can have the County governments get their 40 percent national revenue allocation,” said Nyong’o.

Last Wednesday, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s aide Eliud Owalo launched a campaign for a constitution change to have the President elected through an Electoral College as is the case in the United States of America.

The clamour by the party for another referendum just three years since Kenya got a new Constitution has however been met with sharp criticism, with sceptics accusing the former Prime Minister of trying to use the back door to get into power.

On Tuesday, the Students Organisation of Nairobi University dismissed the referendum bid saying it was driven by selfish intentions.

And last Thursday, the Council of Governors dismissed the call for a referendum saying that it was not in the interest of the Counties or Senators.

Council Chairman Isaac Ruto said governors only remained 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,” added Ruto.

Nyong’o, who was speaking at the Orange House, further accused the government of wrongly terminating the jobs of various parastatal heads.

He explained that some of the appointments by the government were given to undeserving and under qualified individuals.

“The jubilee regime seems to be ethnic in their appointments and sacking of the parastatal heads and we as ODM want inclusion in the appointments,” added Nyong’o.

Nyong’o accused the government of being biased and of targeting individuals who refused to dance to their tune.

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