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