New twist as governors back referendum call

Turkana governor Josephat Nanok who is also the chairman of the COG . Governors have backed the referendum call PHOTO: COURTESY.
 Nairobi, KENYA: Council of Governors under the leadership of Josphat Nanok has embraced the call for a referendum.
The council said after their indoor deliberation on Thursday, they saw the need for a referendum but with conditions that, it seeks to increase allocations to counties as in the previous call for Pesa Mashinani and ‘wanjiku oriented’.

“We note that there are still challenges facing our counties, key among them slow disbursement of funds yet we are halfway through the financial year,” said Nanok.

Nanok who is also Turkana Governor noted that, in order to know how counties have implemented devolution since its inception, the council will undertake an internal audit in which will, in turn, form the referendum questions.

The council, therefore, has established a special committee that will be consulting county assembly forums to agree on a unified county governments voices which will be lead by Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi.

The call to change the constitution began after opposition leader Raila Odinga at fifth devolution conference, proposed a change of structure of government which elicited mixed reactions from not only Kenyans but also leaders as each group attempted to define the form it should take.

Some leaders have been quoted rejecting the proposal citing it meant to create a position for ‘some individuals that should retire from active politics’.

Raila, initially proposed for changes to the Constitution to create a three-tier system of government after his handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta on March 9.

However, he later said the changes should follow active consultations between Kenyans and the 14-member Building Bridges team.

The latter was formed to spearhead actionable items of the Uhuru-Raila unity.

The council, however, announced that the 6th annual conference will be held in Sagana-Kirinyaga County on 4-8 of March 2019.