, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 14 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned Governors pushing for secession that stern action will be taken against them.
Speaking during the induction conference of newly elected Governors and their deputies, President Kenyatta urged them not to engage in speech or actions that threaten Kenya’s territorial integrity.
His sentiments come amid calls by NASA to form the People’s Assemblies which among other things seeks to operate independently of the national government.
“So as much as extend my hand, I must also make it very clear that those who wish to operate outside of that order can expect nothing else but to be dealt with firmly. We will and shall not entertain ay language, we will and shall not entertain any action that threaten the territorial integrity of our country,” he stated.
During his speech, the Head of State further emphasized the need for all governors to work together in ensure Kenyans get efficient service delivery.
“As I extend a hand of friendship and as I extend a handshake of partnership, I also make it very clear that everything we do, we must do within constitutional order. We have all sworn respectively to uphold that constitution and to respect it and I expect all of us to do so,” he said.
“If we adapt an attitude of collaboration, regardless of whether you are in the national government or in the county government, you have been elected by the same people. And as I said, those people did not elect us to be divisive, they did not elect us to be engage in politics, ours is an executive role to deliver on their aspirations,” he said. “In this regard, I am open to dialogue, to talking individually and collectively to achieve those objectives but not to engage in empty rhetoric.”
President Kenyatta stated that no Kenyan voted for disorder, disarray, or dispute in government and regretted that the last four years have not been free of those ills.
“Consultations and dialogue took a back seat as institutions, in both levels of government, rushed to court to settle matters that could easily have been achieved through administrative processes,” he explained.
He recalled that at the Summit Meeting in Sagana last year, he directed the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, to work with the relevant stakeholders, to develop alternative dispute resolution mechanism as envisaged in the Intergovernmental Relations Act.
“This way, the two levels of government would not need to go to courts, except as a very last resort. A draft dispute resolution mechanism is now ready for validation by stakeholders. I urge you all to make use of it when it is ready,” he said.
He promised to do everything in his power to ensuer that intergovernmental institutions and forums for dialogue, consultations, and agreement are operational and vibrant.
“In this regard, it is a pleasure to remember that the Judiciary has, in recent pronouncements returned a number of disputes for resolution through intergovernmental mechanisms, reaffirming the duty of both levels of governments to avoid litigation.”
He stressed the need to adhere to the constitutional provision that alternative dispute resolution ought to be a first resort; and litigation a last one.
He also underscored the need for the establishment of Decentralization Units as contemplated in Part IV of the County Governments Act.
He says these have the potential to mobilize and engage the youth more meaningfully. “The presence of government structures can trigger economic activity that can transform our villages. At this level, our Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector employs 14.9 million Kenyans.”
He stated that affordable credit, and provision of requisite infrastructure at the lowest levels of the decentralized units, would bring the fruits of devolution far faster to many more Kenyans and also help us meet our development goals inclusively.