NAIROBI, Kenya, March 22 – Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has urged Members of County Assemblies to play their part in defending and protecting devolution in the country.
According to the Chief Justice, MCAs have a pivotal and fundamental role to play in devolution and its failure would be a serious indictment on the country’s leadership.
He stated that devolution remains the most important promise the Constitution makes to Kenyans, and its inclusion is an open acknowledgement that Kenya could not continue to be viable as a nation if power remained concentrated at the top.
“Whereas it is proven that the centralised government hasn’t worked, there is no guarantee that devolution will work, unless you play your part to make it work,” the CJ told MCA’s on Friday at their retreat in Mombasa. “The failure of devolution and the failure of centralised government will only mean one thing: a shameful indictment on the leadership of this country, of which you are a big part.”
He further pointed out that the success of devolution cannot be guaranteed if vigilance at the individual and institutional level is lacking.
In this respect, therefore, the CJ said, County Assemblies have proved that the constitutional design that requires no more than two-thirds representation of one gender, as well as the inclusion of minorities, is not only desirable, but also possible.
“You are the face of the new and future Kenya – youth, men, women, and people with disabilities,” he stated.
He indicated that devolution is about the equitable distribution of power and resources and that it is the embodiment of some of the lofty ideas and principles espoused in the Constitution.
He reminded the MCA’s that devolution is designed not to fragment the country, but rather to foster national unity by recognising diversity.
President Uhuru Kenyatta who also spoke at the retreat, underscored the importance of MCAs, and even assured them that they will get car grants they had been asking.
He however, appealed to them to stop persistent wrangles and dedicate themselves in serving Kenyans while working harmoniously with other county and central government leaders.
He said quarreling and apportioning blame will not help in addressing problems facing Kenyans.
“It is our responsibility to serve Kenyans,” the Head of State said, “we cannot succeed in this if we keep blaming one another.”