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MCA's bide their time over referendum decision

19 August 2014, 14:09 William Korir

Nairobi - Members of County Assemblies MCA's are prepared to bide their time to make a decision on whether to back the referendum by Governors.

The MCA's are currently locked in consultations all over the country over the way forward in the referendum process, as Governors seek their support for the referendum.

Governors want the county funds raised to 45% of national revenue from the current minimum 15%.

But they need support from MCA's who are taking their time to make a decision.

Those especially from Jubilee government strongholds are in a catch 22 situation, with senior officials saying support for the referendum is akin to sabotaging the government.

They thus want to ensure they are in a strong position to make a decision over the matter.

" We want to ensure we are making the right choice and thus it will take time to decide. We will have a decision on what to do by the weekend, Nairobi County Assembly boss Alex Magelo said.

In Nairobi, debate is especially high over the merits and demerits of the referendum, with Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero keen to ensure the referendum plea goes through.

" Kidero is keen to have it go through and is doing his best to urge MCA's support the referendum, a source close to the Governor said.

The MCA's and Governors will have a forum to discuss the referendum at the Bomas of Kenya over the weekend.

There, it is expected that a decision will be made, even though some feel that MCA's have more or less agreed with the referendum but are seeking improved perks to support the process.

Council of Governors Chair, Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, says that he is confident it will go through.

" We are in agreement that Counties need more funds. That is what matters. The rest will be agreed on with time.

" The fact is that we have been shortchanged by the government and we do not want this situation to occur again. It is our right as Kenyans, he added.

The government has insisted that calls for a referendum are misplaced and that even if it goes through, will be a waste of time and money.

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