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MPs urge governors to drop case against Senate

27 August 2014, 16:21 Ken Laban

Kakamega - Two MPs from western region have urged governors to withdraw the case they have filed in the high court against the Senate over County Development Boards (CBDs), saying it will interrupt operations in the counties.

Speaking to the media, Teso North MP Arthur Odera and his Matayos counterpart, Geoffrey Odanga said the case has slowed down various development projects and asked governors to seek amendment of the law rather than restraining orders.

“County Development Board is not meant to demean governors but to involve all elected leaders in the development of counties. This can also ensure that there is no clash between governors, MPs and MCAs. Court orders will not offer permanent solutions,” Odera said.

He observed that if governors feel undermined by senators chairing the Boards, they should seek amicable solution by involving the Senate and MPs rather than seeking solutions from the court.

“The problem seems to emanate from senators chairing these Boards. Governors should seek for amendment of the law instead of creating unnecessary squabbles that may disrupt county operations. These court cases may take longer than they anticipated,” he said.

He wondered why governors are so adamant to accept summons from the Senate saying senators play an oversight role over county governments and are mandated to question how governors spend taxpayers' money.

Odera further said a lot of money is wasted in the ongoing court case saying governors should seek an out-of-court settlement.

“A lot of money meant for development is used to pay lawyers and other court expenses, something that can be avoided by just seeking an amicable audience with senators. Governors should explain why they don’t want senators to chair these boards,” he posed.

He also faulted Senate's move to block allocation of funds to four counties saying it is punishing ordinary Kenyans.

“To deny counties funds is not an option because Kenyans are the ones suffering. Governors and senators must work together for the benefit of Kenyans but the Senate should stop summoning governors every time because they are elected leaders who should be given respect,” Odera said.

Odanga said devolution was meant to involve people in the development agenda of counties and noted that the board have allowed all leaders representing Kenyans to participate in development projects.

He said the perceived battle of supremacy between governors and senators should not arise saying each party has their own roles that are well stipulated in the constitution.

“This Board wants to ensure there is transparency in allocation of funds, accountability to curb embezzlement and all inclusive development plans. Residents of Matayos are the ones who know what they need, not governors,” he said.

He asked governors to honour summons by the Senate and observed that if they are spending funds well, they have nothing to fear.

On Monday, the High Court gave temporary orders restraining senators from chairing or convening CBD meetings.

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