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Ruto vows to continue with his push for referendum

23 September 2014, 08:15 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The Council of Governors (CoG) Chairman, Isaac Ruto has vowed that the Jubilee government will not compel governors to withdraw their push for a referendum until their Pesa Mashinani demands are fulfilled.

Ruto said the national government has devolved functions to counties but retained money intended for the management of these functions in the ministries.

Although the CoG has severally held discussions with the national government on devolution issues, Ruto said they have not reached on any agreement.

“Resources should follow functions. We have been given functions but resources retained by the national government. The counties’ KES 120 billion is withheld by the national government. Why can’t we spend KES 8 billion on referendum to get the remaining billions?” he posed.  

He said counties are faced with serious problems and that the CoG can no longer hold discussions with the national governments when county residents are suffering.

“The counties’ Health sector is so bad, many people are dying yet you tell us to continue discussing. You are telling us to wait but how many people do you want to die before you wake up?

“Let those governors around Nairobi continue discussing with the national government but for our demands have to be do now. The National Assembly has drafted 13 bills to hinder devolution and the best way we can address our demands is through the referendum,” he added.

The Bomet Governor also lashed out claims that the governors are not united in their call for referendum saying their diverse professionalism on addressing issues is the cause but none of them is opposed to more funds to counties.

Also read: Governors defiant as they launch referendum signature drive

“It is not that we are not united in our Pesa Mashinani push. Some of us are former diplomats, managers while others like Oparanya and I who are politicians are approaching our issues in a political manner while others are proposing other ways,” said Ruto.

He further said the national government’s plan to intimidate the governors by denying them to fly the national flags on their vehicles is uncalled for because the emblems are only meant to express their patriotism to the nation.

“If we are stopped to use national flags, soon they will even stop us from singing the national anthem then ban us from conducting national celebrations in the counties. I don’t know where we will then be heading to.” he said.

Moreover, CoG chair faulted the Senate’s move of summoning the governors for grilling on the counties’ expenditure saying they only play a general oversight role in management of counties thus the Counties’ accounting officers are ones to be summoned.

“If we send our officers who are in charge of the counties’ expenditure for grilling to Senate then are chased away and demand the governors to appear in person, then what do they want? If it is politics then let us play politics,” said Rutto.

He assured that counties will not engage in unwanted expenses such as expenditure on foreign trips by members of the county assembly like what happened in the first financial year.

He was addressing the press in Nairobi after the Sunday launch of signature collection in Kakamega County for their Pesa Mashinani referendum push.

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