NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 18 – ODM leader Raila Odinga has urged feuding parties in the Kisumu County Government to seek reconciliation as the party probes a report by the taskforce appointed to inquire into the circumstances leading to the disruption of business in the County Assembly.
Speaking during the presentation of the report to the party, Odinga noted that many counties were undergoing similar challenges, saying the party would ensure all counties headed by ODM Governors are successful.
Odinga acknowledged the fact that their efforts to resolve the dispute in the Kisumu County Assembly were boosting the National Government’s initiative to deal with other assemblies some which are even facing dissolution.
“We coming in is to basically complement the efforts of the National Government, we want to come in to ensure these counties are working; as you know CORD controls 24 of the 47 counties and we will ensure that the counties controlled by CORD function properly and efficiently… that money is used prudently to serve the people. If you are paid a salary, you should earn it,” stated Odinga.
The taskforce said they found that the problems ailing the Kisumu County Government were corruption, politics and control of the county’s financial resources.
“We are satisfied that the differences between the Governor and the Speaker that developed during the election of the County Assembly Speaker have persisted and have played out in the intra-assembly conflict. This is compounded by the fight over the control of financial resources especially the development budget,” said Beth Siang’o, a member of the taskforce.
And on the case of the embattled Speaker Ann Adul, who had been impeached by the County Assembly but reinstated by the courts, the taskforce Chairman Oduor Ong’wen recommended dialogue with all parties as the best solution since her case was indefensible.
“We are convinced that the position of Adul as the Speaker is untenable. Even if the courts of law to which she has resorted for redress were to rule in her favour, we are convinced that she would be impeached again since there appears a divide of roughly 39 MCAs against her, seven MCAs for and three MCAs neutral,” said Ong’wen.
The taskforce gave eight crucial recommendations which they say would not only assist the Kisumu County Assembly but also others facing similar difficulties.
Odinga also took the time to urge the National Government to come up with proper standards which would be enforced by all counties adding that a reward of sorts should be developed for those counties which will succeed in ensuring the success of devolution.
He added that this will help reduce the squabbles between the county officials which in many cases have stifled development.
“The Governors don’t delegate duties to their MCAs, while the MCAs want to take up the role of the Executive and holding the Governor at ransom that they will not approve a project unless it is implemented by them. This is why you find Governors rewarding MCAs with trips abroad to pacify them… some of this things are ridiculous and more so because a lot of public resources are wasted,” said Odinga.