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Ruto: Governors must first spend wisely

10 August 2014, 10:09 William Korir

Nairobi - Governors must spend wisely to earn more funds for devolution, deputy President William Ruto has said.

The airwaves in recent weeks have been filled with calls for more funds for devolution, with governors and the opposition CORD coalition calling for a referendum to force the government raise the threshold for devolution to 45% of total government revenue.

As expected, the referendum calls have been met with opposition from government, with president Uhuru Kenyatta recently saying that a planned referendum is waste of money.

And Ruto, speaking in Samburu Saturday, during the opening ceremony for a technical institute, he echoed the message by president Kenyatta, saying that there was no need for a referendum due to its expensive nature.

" As a government, we have raised the bar for devolution and this year only, we have added KES 40 Billion to the Counties fund, he said.

" We will continue to do so as Counties use the funds allocated to them in a proper and appropriate way, he added.

He also insisted that a referendum will not help the country at this moment in time.

" We must not lose focus and continue to build the nation. Development is needed in the nation, not projects that will cost the country lots of money, he added.

President Kenyatta had earlier told those agitating for a referendum to switch their focus to help the country use its resources in a more useful manner.

He said the push for a referendum boils down to a call to waste public money on an unnecessary venture.

The President said implementation of issues like devolution that some politicians want amended in the constitution started after the Jubilee Government came to power.

He said Kenyans voted less than a year ago and made a choice to give the jubilee Government the mandate to rule and therefore it should be given the space to implement reforms.

“Just one and a half years after we have started implementing this provisions some people are asking for a referendum. Are we going to have a referendum every one year?” posed the President when he addressed the Kenyan diaspora in Dallas.

He said politicians should spend their time promoting development and cohesion.

The President said governors of counties should spend the money allocated to them prudently instead of fronting the argument that only more budgetary allocation will solve the country’s development challenges.

“It is not how much money you have but how you utilize it that makes the difference,” he said.

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