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Governors urge senators to adopt virtual meetings to curb Covid-19

Wednesday July 22 2020
oparanya

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and his Kisumu counterpart Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o during a press briefing on July 22, 2020. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BENSON AMADALA

County chiefs want their colleagues summoned by the Senate to be allowed to make virtual appearances to avoid exposing themselves to the new coronavirus.

The Council of Governors (CoG), through the chair Wycliffe Oparanya, said the Senate should arrange for virtual meetings with governors.

Mr Oparanya spoke Wednesday at the Kakamega County headquarters during the weekly briefing on the preparedness by counties in battling the spread of the pandemic.

At the same time, governors from western region under the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) have called for the suspension of the expression on leasing of state owned sugar companies until the parties agree on the consultative process.

Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o called for the taskforce report implementation committee to be gazetted to oversee the full implementation of the report.

Governor Nyong’o said the county chiefs welcomed recommendations of the sugar taskforce report president Uhuru Kenyatta in February 2020 and called for the process of leasing and state owned sugar millers to be open.

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“We want the process of leasing of the state owned factories to be consultative to ensure the quality of the bids. We are proposing that a committee comprising of national government and county governments be constituted to oversee the leasing process to ensure legitimacy.

On the Covid-19 campaign in the regions, Mr Oparanya said: “We call upon the Speaker of the Senate to emulate the example of the National Assembly which has since dispensed with Physical appearance. I urge all Governors to appear virtually as their health comes first,” said Mr Oparanya.

Mr Oparanya who was accompanied by his Kisumu counterpart Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o asked the national treasury to release the equitable share of allocation to counties for June, 2020 without further delay.

He said the delay would affect operations in counties including payment of salaries and the fight against Covid-19.

“Despite the end of the Financial Year 2019/2020, County Governments are yet to receive the June disbursements. Further delay will not only affect payment of staff salaries but also negatively hinder timely response of Covid-19,” said Mr Oparanya.

The governors have asked the government to ensure the process of clearing truck drivers at the border points should be done within 24 hours to avoid a snarl-up of trucks.

“Currently, clearance of truck drivers with full documentation at the border points is increasingly delaying from the initial 24 hours to 2 days. This has resulted to major traffic snarl-ups at the border Counties. Further, community infections have increased due to unrestricted interactions between the truck drivers and the local communities,” said Mr Oparanya.

The CoG said the 38 counties had cumulatively trained and sensitized an additional 5,381 healthcare workers.

The counties have now trained 28,661 healthcare workers and 77,614 community health workers in preparation to battle the spread of Covid-19 in the regions.

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