alexa County leaders oppose Bill seeking to regulate fund use in devolved units - Daily Nation

County leaders oppose Bill seeking to regulate fund use in devolved units

Sunday October 6 2013

Nandi Governor Dr Cleophas Lagat addresses mourners at the funeral service of Mzee Paul Kipruto Tirop, the father of Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto in Chepseon, Kericho County on Sunday as his Kericho Counterpart prof Paul Chepkwony looks on. Photo/TIMOTHY KEMEI

Nandi Governor Dr Cleophas Lagat addresses mourners at the funeral service of Mzee Paul Kipruto Tirop, the father of Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto in Chepseon, Kericho County on Sunday as his Kericho Counterpart prof Paul Chepkwony looks on. Photo/TIMOTHY KEMEI 

TOM MATOKE
By TOM MATOKE
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WYCLIFFE KIPSANG
By WYCLIFFE KIPSANG
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The war of words between senators and county leaders intensified on Sunday with the MPs being asked to resign for undermining devolved units through a Bill seeking to establish county development boards, to be chaired by the senators.

The 48 members of Nandi County Assembly also wanted their senator, Mr Stephen Sang, recalled for allegedly being used to undermine county governments through the Bill he introduced, which seeks to control and regulate the way funds in counties are spent .

The County Reps claimed that Mr Sang was only interested in settling political differences and controlling the powers governors had, as well as undermining devolution.

Led by Chief Whip Wilson Sang, who is also the Chepkumia Ward rep, they told senators to stop undermining powers enjoyed by governors.

The MCAs claimed they no longer had confidence in their senator and asked him to resign so that the electorate could elect a leader who was ready to listen and serve the voters.

Speaking on Sunday at a fund-raising drive in aid of Kapsabet Central SDA Church, Ward Reps Fred Kipkembo, David Rotich, Julius Menjo and John Tilitai as well as County Speaker Edwin Cheruget, said they expected all elected leaders to deliver services and ensure the success of counties.

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They also warned that they would not back Mr Stephen Sang and any other local MP who would support the Bill.

Nandi Governor Cleophas Lagat, while speaking in Bomet where some 15 governors were present, also opposed the Bill.

Kapkangan County Rep Eliud Kirongo and Kiptuya’s Geoffrey Kevolu, said senators should fight for more resources to be sent from the national government to counties and warned the Senate against any move to discredit both governors and MCAs.

Mr Kirongo said the Senate should desist from tabling motions that would undermine governors and deny them executive powers, adding that the House should deal with national issues as tabling of such motion would frustrate counties from providing important public services.

BILL SUPPORTED

Meanwhile, a section of MPs has vowed to pass into law the controversial County Government Amendment Bill, 2013, which will adversely reduce the powers of governors.

The MPs among them Sammy Mwaita (Baringo Central), Joseph Ngugi (Gatundu South), Dan Wanyama (Webuye West), Kangogo Bowen (Marakwet East), Mburu Kang’ara (Lari) and Women Reps Mary Wanjiku (Nyandarua), Grace Kiptui (Baringo), Mary Mbugua (Nakuru) and Mary Otara (Kisii), accused the governors of living lavishly at the expense of service delivery to wananchi at the county level.

“If not checked, we will be devolving corruption to the counties. I even understand some governors have started using taxpayers’ money to appoint their cronies as ambassadors to protect their interests in other counties. We will not sit and watch as public resources are being misused,” said Mr Bowen.

The MPs were speaking yesterday at a fund-raising in aid of Kiboino Mixed Secondary School in Baringo.

Among other issues, the Bill seeks to have senators chair the County Public Service Boards with Women Reps as deputies and governors serving as secretaries.

Members of the County Assembly also had a reason to smile after the MPs threw their weight behind their calls for salary increment and be provided with vehicles.

The MPs were reacting to complaints by MCAs from Baringo County among them Zachariah Kipkuto (Sacho ward),Johana Chebon (Kabarnet ) and Richard Kitilit (Ewalel Chapchap) who during the meeting threatened to support calls for a referendum on devolution by Cord if Jubilee leaders do not fight for their welfare.

The MCAs hit out at Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) chairperson Sarah Serem whom they accused of being insensitive to their plight.

“We do a lot of work at the grassroots more than even MPs. Why are we being sidelined this?. Our colleagues especially those who come from far flung areas of the county are having a hard time attending to the people’s needs and attending county assembly proceedings in Kabarnet due to lack of vehicles,” said Mr Chebon.

The aggrieved MCAs were categorical there was no need supporting Jubilee yet it was not serious on devolution as stipulated in the new constitution.

The MCAs countrywide have been involved in a war of words with Ms Serem over their salaries forcing them to go on recess in protest.

The MPs expressed optimism that President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto will be cleared of crimes against humanity cases facing them at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and urged Kenyans to pray for the two leaders.

“Kenyans should stand together with the two leaders. ICC is only targeting African leaders. Kenyans have already reconciled and we should not open old wounds,”said Mr Kang’ara.

More than Sh1 million was realized during the funds drive which will go towards the completion of a dormitory at the school.