National Super Alliance principals Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi have congratulated Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya following his election as the chairperson of the Council of Governors.
Mr Oparanya will be deputised by Murang’a’s Mwangi Wa Iria, who succeeded Kirinyaga County boss Anne Waiguru. Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana was elected Chief Whip, replacing Wajir’s Mohamud Mohamed.
Mr Raila Odinga Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Musalia Mudavadi of the have congratulated
Mr Mudavadi, leader of the Amani National Congress (ANC), said Mr Oparanya was the right man to take over from Turkana’s Josphat Nanok.
“Governor Oparanya has the requisite experience, commitment and drive to lead the CoG in protecting the gains and promoting the entrenchment of devolution,” he said in his congratulatory message.
“The CoG needed Governors Oparanya and Wa Iria’s experienced pair of hands to hold fort for and enhanced system of devolution, especially so at this time when the country is debating constitutional changes."
Mr Oparanya is the deputy leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), which is Mr Odinga's party.
A message by ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna said he has demonstrated exemplary leadership in Kakamega, where he is serving a second term.
Mr Sifuna added that the party had confidence in Mr Oparanya.
“Mr Oparanya’s track record speaks for itself and his election only confirms the confidence his colleagues in the Council of Governors have in him. It is our hope that Mr Oparanya will use the position to champion for the strengthening of devolution for a better future of our nation,” Mr Sifuna said.
Mr Oparanya was elected the fourth CoG boss, the other chairs having been former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto and former Meru Governor Peter Munya.
In his maiden speech, Mr Oparanya promised to steer the council to lead calls for a referendum.
“One of the key issues I have prioritised is the reshaping of the referendum national agenda in the context of devolution,” Mr Oparanya told his colleagues in his maiden speech at Movenpick Hotel in Westlands, Nairobi.
He promised "the council will purposely endeavour to drive the referendum discussion by engaging stakeholders".
Mr Oparanya also sent a warning shot to the Treasury, promising a bruising war on the disbursement of funds.
“In my term it will not be business as usual, especially when it comes to flow of funds to the counties,” Mr Oparanya said.
He also promised to ensure the thorny issue of e-procurement under the Integrated Financial Management System (Ifmis), which has almost always ground operations in the counties to a halt, is addressed, alongside that of pension.