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Worry as more Governors ditch referendum chase

24 September 2014, 13:35 William Korir

Nairobi - Governors are increasingly ditching referendum talk as they seek ways to dialogue over increased funds for devolution.

The worry has been that many Governors, tied down by the coalitions they represent have decided to step off the referendum trail for now and seek talks to see if they can indeed get more funds to the County level.

Already, there is a team that has started initiating talks with State House on how to go about the funding issue.

A referendum fronted by Council of Governors chair Isaac Ruto and a few other governors seeks to have 45% of national revenue sent to Counties, up from the current minimum 15%.

Read also: ODM blames Jubilee for referendum chaos

But with Jubilee Governors under pressure from their leadership and some CORD Governors also against the process, there could be a slight problem for the remaining players.

" We are worried about the dwindling number of Governors supporting the referendum ", a source close to Bomet Governor Ruto told News24.

" Yes, the Council is fully behind the referendum and further to that, we are trying our very best to reach the public through Members of County Assemblies MCA's but it is worrying, the source added.

So far, only Ruto and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya have been vocal about the referendum, with others choosing to either be quiet or to bide their time.

Others have taken sides with the government on the matter with even some CORD Governors like Evans Kidero saying that a referendum is not needed now.

Read also: Referendum rallies banned in Elgeyo-Marakwet County

" We do not need one now. We must look for other ways first before pushing for a referendum, he believes.

Others like Kiambu Governor William Kabogo feel that it is better to look for other solutions first before moving ahead to a referendum.

" We must first embrace dialogue, then we can see the way forward. At the end of the day, all we want is increased funds and as long as we get our wish, let us try the other methods first.

That message though is not well taken at the Council secretariat.

" We will push as far as we can. I do not know how far the chairman ( Isaac Ruto) will go with this but for now he is committed.

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