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Formula on distribution of resources should be enshrined in the constitution 

Devolution  would be enhanced if the law on equitable distribution of resources is enshrined in the constitution.

The  Murang’a  Governor, Mwangi wa Iria, speaking while giving his views to Building Bridges Initiative forum held in Murang’a  on Thursday, said if a formula on how revenue is distributed was anchored in law, the current stalemate on allocation of  funds to counties would not be there.

He  observed  that  lack  of  clear directive from the constitution on what county governments are supposed to get has put  the  operations of devolved units at the mercy of parliamentarians.

The  governor  said  currently both Senate and the National assembly are not in agreement on what percentage the counties  are  supposed to get from the national revenue.

He  supported  amendment of the constitution so as to take into consideration proper ways on how resources will be shared  between the national and county governments.

WaIria  said  if  the  constitution  will  take  care  of  sharing both financial and natural resources, every part of the country  would  be  contended and the vicious fight for the top seat, witnessed in the country every electioneering season would  be minimized.

He  noted  that various communities are yearning to have one of their own as president, since it is perceived that their  regions will benefit more if one of them clinches to the seat.

“What  Kenyan  people  want is equitable distribution of resources which will see all parts of the country get developments. This  can only be attained by amending the constitution to spell out how resources will be shared,” said  Wa Iria.

He  continued, “Equitable  distribution  of  resources  in  the  country  will  avert  conflicts and clashes which have been  experienced in some parts of the country especially electioneering times.”

The  governor  noted  that  both  vertical  and  horizontal distribution of funds should be well guided by the constitution,  adding that currently the responsibility of distribution of resources is left to parliament and government agencies.

On  natural resources, Wa Iria said every part of the country has its endowed natural resources which should be exploited to benefit the country at large as well as the local community.

He  said a specific percentage of the proceeds gained from the natural resources should be utilized to improve social  welfare of the community where the resources lie.

Meanwhile, the governor noted that the law should be changed to appoint elected leaders as cabinet secretaries instead of technocrats.

He said politicians are also learned and better placed to advocate for needs of the people, since they interact with them  more than technocrats.

“Current cabinet secretaries are not much conversant with the needs of people at the grassroots. My opinion is that let  members of the executive be appointed from among the elected legislators as it was the case before,” he added.

Speaking  during  the same  forum, area Senator, Irungu  Kang’ata said change of constitution should not agitate for expansion  of the executive.

Kang’ata observed that inclusivity can be attained without creating more positions for election losers.

“Let  the constitution be changed to ensure there is a manageable executive and the communities which are not represented  get other position in other arms of the government,” he stated.

He  suggested  that  the president to should be elected at 60 plus one so as to create a big margin with the close opponent, saying this can reduce tension during elections.

By  Bernard  Munyao

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