Maa leaders want referendum that strengthens devolution

By Kurgat Marindany and Ben Leshau

Elected leaders in Kajiado County have declared they will oppose a referendum that will seek to kill devolution.
Led by Governor Joseph ole Lenku, the politicians recently warned those fronting for a new referendum to brace for an opposition if their idea is to do with devolved system of governance.
The leaders made the remarks in Pakase area of Kajiado West during a thanksgiving ceremony of Magadi Ward MCA Joseph Masiaya.
Opposition politician, Tarayia Kores, who was also in attendance, sparked a heated debate on the referendum when he claimed he only recognises President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga in the leadership of the country.
“We in opposition recognise Uhuru and Raila and the rest can continue dreaming because they do not exist in our minds. The spirit of the handshake is shaping the country’s economy and those making noises that the handshake was a sham should fold up and pack off,” said Kores.
His remarks, which were viewed as hitting at Deputy President William Ruto, invited an array of attacks from MPs and MCAs present.
The first salvo came from nominated MCA Onesmus Ngogoyo who equated Kores to an incessant dog barking even when there is no enemy in the compound.
“When you tell us that you are supporting a fresh referendum and that you only recognise Uhuru and Raila, what do you mean, where are other leaders?” asked Ngogoyo.
Ngogoyo told Kores on his face; “You are running up and down singing that a new referendum is coming and yet you have not even understood what the current constitution entails.”
Kajiado West MP, George Sunkuyia and Lenku said they are not opposed to any meaningful changes in the referendum if it will not seek to deny counties resources to run their affairs.
County Assembly Speaker Johnson Osoi told the MPs present to guard devolution in Parliament and to ensure that Treasury does not implement the resizing of devolution money to counties by Sh9 billion as demanded by the current Finance Bill.
“Any effort to kill devolution will face a stiff opposition from the pastoral communities in this country. We do not need a referendum that seeks to benefit a few power-hungry individuals leaving the bigger picture of the Kenyan needs to the dogs,” said Osoi.
Kajiado East MP, Peris Tobiko said she is not opposed to new amendments to the constitution so long as it is agreeable to all Kenyans.
The thanksgiving was also attended by former Kajiado West MP, Moses Sakuda and 12 MCAs along with other community leaders who endorsed Lenku’s reelection come 2022.
Meanwhile, Narok South MP Korei ole Lemein wants a halt on referendum debate. The MP asked leaders to stop referendum debate and instead focus their energies on issues that can bring the country together.
Lemein who spoke when he donated a school bus to Nkaroni Secondary School petitioned politicians to stop politicking and instead address pertinent issues facing the region.

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