Turner: Kenyans should be patient with Govt
02 July 2013, 18:04
The British government has urged Kenyans to manage their expectations of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government, saying that he should be given enough time to implement devolution.
British High Commissioner to Kenya Dr. Christian Turner said that devolution is crucial in delegating more powers back to the grassroots, but urged Kenyans to be more patient.
“I have heard some people say 'we want it now, we want it yesterday', but we ought to manage our expectations because some issues in devolution are going to take time to work through,” said Dr. Turner.
Dr. Turner said that in the United Kingdom, devolution was successfully brought forth in 1997 but was implemented ten years later.
“I was part of that team led by former Prime Minister Tony Blair that came up with devolution in Britain in 1997. We pushed more power back to Scotland, Northern Island and other parts from London,” Dr. Turner said.
The envoy said that devolution has immensely been politicized in Kenya by some politicians, saying that the issue should be dealt with by different political parties, the senate, county government, national government through the ministry for devolution and planning.
He said that the British Government will offer maximum support to the principal of devolution in Kenya, adding that Britain will also offer its support to President Kenyatta’s goal of double-digit economic growth.
He observed that Kenya has many British investors who own big firms, adding that he will ensure that more investors venture into the country to support the Government.
He said, “In the United Kingdom, the economic growth is about 0% but Kenya has 5% growth. We will support the President and his Deputy to ensure that they realize the double-digit economic growth.”
The envoy was speaking on Monday at Nyeri Social Forum held in Nyeri town.
“I will be talking to Governor Nderitu Gachagua and I will ask him about his structured plan for the people of Nyeri and the priorities he has for the County so that we can ensure proper investment in Nyeri in line with the priorities,” noted Dr. Turner.
The envoy will be holding discussions with all the 47 Governors across the country through the coordination of Cabinet Secretary of Devolution and Planning led by Ann Waiguru.
Dr. Turner said that Britain respected the sovereign will of the Kenyan people, saying that the partnership between the two nations will never change.
He said, “During elections, some people were saying that the British Government and I were trying to interfere with the elections. These allegations were not true because there was absolutely no evidence. In fact, we were the first people to celebrate with you when the outcome of the elections was out because the elections were peaceful.”
The envoy said that Britain cares about the security, regional development and tourism in Kenya.
He pledged to support the President’s goal of doubling the number of tourists visiting Kenya each year.
“The total number of tourists coming from Britain is more than any other country. About 200,000 visitors come to Kenya each year,” he noted.
He said that wildlife is the heritage of Kenya, adding that the tourism potential should be heightened by fighting poaching.
He promised that his government will help Kenya fight poaching by eliminating those poachers who evolve into criminal gangs that issue security threat in the country.
“In two weeks time, I'll come to Nyeri again to mark the anniversary of the Queen's visit in 1952. We will be celebrating the route used by the Queen here in Kenya. This will definitely showcase the potential of tourism in this country,” said the High Commissioner.
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