NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 6 – Governors have vowed to fight off any attempt to derail devolution which they say is beneficial to Kenyans.
Chairman of the Council of Governors Isaac Ruto reiterated that the process is irreversible and cannot be stopped by anyone.
“In the Constitution, you cannot remove it (devolution) and that is what a number of people also hang on to. They say that no one is saying that we are removing devolution, but you can make it very thin, make it skinny and deny it money and let it look ugly and then blame it for the ugliness that being skinny brings. You can even accuse it of being sick and fatally infected then you invite us to exterminate it because it can contaminate others,” he stated.
Ruto emphasised the need for unity from all arms of the government to ensure that devolution is successful, following wrangles with Senators and MPs.
“Kenya is one sovereign indivisible nation whose sovereignty is exercised at two levels and I do not think that was a typographical error it is in the first pages and I think that the writers were not tired. They could not have made a mistake. They were very clear that that sovereignty is exercised by the two levels,” he explained.
He was speaking during a meeting with various stakeholders where the devolution website was launched ahead of a major conference set to take place next month.
The meeting themed, ‘One Year into Devolution, Celebrating the Milestones Confronting the Challenges’ comes at a time when Governors, Senators and MPs are engaged in a supremacy battle.
According to Blue Digital Consultant Stephen Kilonzo, the website will provide a platform for collating and disseminating information involving the conference.
He says it will bring together Members of County Assemblies together with the Governors as they discuss ways of improving their work.
“A very critical component of this platform is that everybody who will be coming for conference will have to register. This is important from the Council of Governors point of view because we want to be able to plan appropriately, to understand who will be coming into the conference and to provide an opportunity for all the Governors and stakeholders to engage beyond the conference.”
Ruto described the meeting as timely as it will also be a time to reflect on the achievements of the county governments a year after they came into office.
His sentiments were echoed by Transition Authority Chairman Kinuthia Wamwangi who stated that it will help Kenyans reflect on the gains made in county governments.
“This devolution process is the best thing that has happened. I can only equate it to a conference that was held in South Africa one year before its independence. It brought together the South Africans and all the informed people of the world to talk about their constitution and this is exactly what we have done today here in Kenya so that we may be able to consolidate the gains we have made in the devolution process,” he stated.
He pointed out that it should be viewed as a milestone to set the agenda for development in the country.
“I want to challenge the chair of the Council of Governors that this conference should not only be a place to come and go. We must consolidate the views and opinions into a book that will inform Kenyans for the rest of our generations on how we started, what we saw, what we did and what we bequeathed. I know there will be many other conferences but this is the most important,” he explained.
“There are some people who have approached me and have told me that something should be done very quickly to restore the old order, but I must tell you that this process is irreversible.”