, Nairobi, Kenya, February 23 – Governors have now backed down on their hard stance and stated that they are willing to dialogue with Senators to end the current stalemate sparked by the impeachment of their colleague.
Chairman of the Governors Council Isaac Ruto who led governors in a retreat in Mombasa says they are willing to work with Senators to protect devolution.
Ruto described the two arms of government as Siamese twins, saying none can operate without the other while stressing the need to iron out contentious issues as soon as possible.
“We have to find a way of working together and we are ready to talk with Senators. Nobody said that devolution will be easy and these are some of the things we have to go through,” he stated.
He explained that their decision to seek an opinion at the Supreme Court does not mean they are unwilling to work with governors, because they were only to establish who should be held accountable for expenditures at the counties.
“On our part, we hold the view that County Executive Officers are the ones responsible for the keeping and maintaining the records. A Governor’s job is purely administrative and this is what we sort to be interpreted of by the court,” he said.
The row with the senate was sparked by the impeachment of Martin Wambora as Embu Governor before the High Court suspended the senate decision.
Wambora argues that his impeachment was illegal because there was a court order in place barring the senate from taking up the matter.
Governors subsequently moved to the Supreme Court to seek a constitutional interpretation on whether the Senate can summon them, raising a storm in both houses which have now scheduled a Kamukunji on Tuesday.
The Senate and the National Assembly on Thursday displayed a rare show of solidarity, when they closed ranks to slam recent Judiciary rulings they perceive to be an ‘affront on their oversight mandate’.
Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki stated that failure by the Governor to account for their expenditures will force the Senate to withhold their next allocations until they answer relevant questions.
“Governors you can run but you cannot hide, we will use all means possible to ensure, the law is complied with, you are not above the law,” he stated.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has also told the Governors that they “must be accountable to the Senate, because I am also accountable to parliament.”