NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 23 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned former Prime Minister Raila Odinga to stop taking advantage of the current governors and senators stalemate to mislead Kenyans on devolution.
Through his Spokesman Manoah Esipisu, the President said his sentiments on Friday were based on facts and not an attempt to undermine devolution as claimed by the CORD leader on Saturday.
“The statement issued earlier today by the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga shows him to be misguided about the law he purports to defend,” Esipisu said, adding that the CORD leader was misreading the law by stating that an injunction staying the impeachment of the governor of Embu Martin Wambora was unlawfully ignored by the Senate.
“He is deeply mistaken,” Esipisu said, and drew Raila’s attention to Article 95(3) of the Constitution, which states that the Senate oversees national revenues allocated to county governments. Under Article 125(1) the Senate has the right to call any person to testify before it, while Article 125(2) gives the Senate the same powers as the High Court. Article 181(2) allows the Senate to pass legislation for the removal of a county governor, while Parliament’s standing order no 65 specifies the procedure.
The CORD leader had accused the president of an attempt to “bring an end to all autonomous institutions in the country” by commenting on matters pending before court saying “A pattern of a return to repression is taking shape.”
In a statement sent to newsrooms on Saturday, the former Prime Minister said “It is unfortunate that the presidency has now explicitly and publicly endorsed this charade,” the former Prime Minister said, and urged the Jubilee government to respect “the doctrine of Separation of Powers.”
But according to the president, the former Prime Minister’s statement presents no other evidence for its claims.
“Instead of disquieting the public with false claims about the law, we invite him to join the bipartisan consensus in support of the Senate’s action. Members of his party, and members of the ruling Jubilee coalition, are in full agreement that the Senate properly exercised its constitutional mandate to oversee county expenditure of Kenyan taxpayers’ hard-earned money,” Esipisu said in a statement from State House.
The President had urged Governors to respect the Senate whenever called to account for their expenditures in their counties, after nine of them obtained a court order barring them from appearing before the Senate committee on Economic Affairs and Finance.