Author: Japheth Ogila
AfricaPress-Kenya: Wiper party has opposed the creation of a three-tier government stating that the emphasis should be on strengthening the existing wards by creating a development fund.
In a press release, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has given a reassurance that his party will support only necessary constitutional amendments. “…even as WDM-K supports the BBI Agenda, it is clear that Kenya is not ready for regional governments.
In our view, what is critical for us is to strengthen devolution and make it work for the common wananchi by creating Ward Development Fund,” Kalonzo said. On the other hand, Kalonzo’s Wiper has pledged to join the bandwagon of political leaders who will drum up support for the Building Bridges Initiative. Kalonzo has therefore called for sobriety. He has urged leaders to avoid falling into the trap of using BBI platform to outdo one another and seeking glory.
He said: “As a party, we believe in an all-inclusive country where no one feels left behind. Through the BBI Framework, we need to have sobriety in debating issues raised by Kenyans. For that matter, it would be hilarious to reduce the BBI Agenda into a political duel between two leaders.”
ODM leader Raila Odinga while addressing the fifth devolution conference in Kakamega in April rooted for the system, saying there was a need to include another tier of governance, encompassing 14 regional governments.
According to Odinga, the three-tier system, which was abandoned in the Bomas draft could strengthen devolution further by bringing in more gains not realised under the current system.
“It is time to recover this original spirit. My proposal is that we adopt a three-tier system that retains the current counties, create regional or provincial governments, and retain the national government with a very clear formula for revenue sharing,” Raila said in his keynote address at the conference.
He proceeded to say: “As a matter of lasting solution to the problems posed by the sizes of economies of devolved units, I want to propose to this forum that we need to bite the bullet and revisit the structure of devolution,” he said.
Odinga’s proposal for an extra layer of governance has elicited criticism as those opposed to claim it would lead to wastage of public resources due to entrenched corruption. Kalonzo condemned recent incident in which legislators Johana Ng’eno (Emurua Dikirr) and Oscar Sudi (Kapseret) criticised President Uhuru Kenyatta with harsh words raising the political temperature in the country.
“WDM-K is appalled by the recent political utterances by a section of political leaders that are likely to plunge this country into anarchy, and solemnly declares that such leaders cannot be entrusted with the leadership of this country,” he stated.
Wiper party members of the National Executive Council (NEC) met at Maanzoni Lodge on over the weekend for a retreat where they discussed the party’s stand on the BBI and the roadmap to 2022 General Election.