President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday responded to the war of words between the Senate and the National Assembly, saying the leaders’ unending supremacy battles were stifling development.
The President accused MPs, senators and governors of “holding the nation to ransom” and told them to end the turf wars because they were hurting development projects.
Making his long-awaited visit to Nandi, Mr Kenyatta also gave Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki a public dressing down, telling them to stop threatening MPs.
Speaking before the President delivered his address at a funds drive in aid of the Kapsabet AIC Church, Mr Mandago and Prof Kindiki both criticised MPs for supporting the Division of Revenue Act, which hived off Sh1 billion from the Senate’s oversight funds to give to counties.
“The National Assembly should stop undermining the Senate by cutting its budget. We are not going to be frustrated and intimidated,” Prof Kindiki said.
Mr Mandago said MPs should be pushing development Bills in Parliament. “They should not be cutting budgets,” he said.
The Act, passed by the National Assembly last Wednesday and signed into law by the President the following day, provides for the equitable division of revenue between the national and county governments for the 2015/16 financial year. The total county allocations will be Sh287.04 billion or 37 per cent of the audited revenue.
While slicing the Senate budget, MPs said they had made the decision to punish senators after members of the two Houses earlier failed to strike a deal on how much money should be given to counties.
Last week, Council of Governors chairman Peter Munya also criticised MPs, accusing them of seeking to kill devolution by opposing the Senate’s push for a higher allocation to counties.
Yesterday, the President told Mr Mandago and Prof Kindiki to work closely with other leaders instead of issuing “meaningless threats”.
“The war of words between the Senate, governors and the National Assembly is uncalled for in the country. Leaders should stick to their mandate but not come here and issue threats to fellow elected leaders. The country must be governed through order,” said Mr Kenyatta. “No one will walk alone and be successful”.
POLITICS OF HATRED
He accused the leaders of practising the politics of hatred that only serves to divide Kenyans.
“I want to lead one, united Kenya and all elected leaders must stick to their mandate. I will not support any leader, senator or governor, who is living in the past. Chest-thumping leaders should stop declaring war on MPs and senators or MCAs who visit counties,” he said.
He also announced that he would make another visit to Nandi County to attend Education Day at Kapsabet Boys High School and also commission the Koitaleel Samoei University in Nandi Hills.
Deputy President William Ruto told the gathering that he would not challenge Mr Kenyatta in the race for the presidency in 2017 but would wait for his turn to come in 2022.
Mr Ruto said he would continue to rally voters in the Rift Valley to back President Kenyatta especially now that his United Republican Party (URP) was part of the Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP) alongside the President’s The National Alliance (TNA).
“I fully support President Kenyatta for the next General Election and I’m content with being number two. I know with all your support, my time will come to lead this country,” Mr Ruto said.
He also said Sh300 million had been set aside for the construction of three technical training institutes in Nandi County.
Mr Ruto also said that 100,000 tonnes of fertiliser had already arrived at government stores in Eldoret and would soon be distributed to farmers.
Nandi Governor Cleophas Lagat and Emgwen MP Alex Kosgei said the local community was firmly in JAP and anyone going outside this political arrangement “will face rejection from voters in 2017”.
Nandi Senator Stephen Sang led locals in calls for President Kenyatta to reinstate suspended Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Kosgei, who was among top public servants investigated over corruption allegations by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission.
Mr Koskei was cleared of allegations of irregular allocation of sugar import permits and improper lease of land belonging to the Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute.