Ukambani Governors are calling for equitable distribution of national resources ahead of the February 1 Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally in Kitui Stadium.
Speaking on Tuesday as they toured the stadium to host the mega BBI Eastern region rally in Kitui, Governor Charity Ngilu, who is hosting the rally, said that the region has been marginalized over the years, adding that time is ripe to get equitable share of resources.
“Our region has been ravaged by perennial drought, poverty, hunger, poor healthcare, dilapidated infrastructure and lack of clean water among other vagaries of the weather. BBI is destined to solve our post-independence challenges,” said Ngilu.
She disclosed that the region has drawn its memoranda to be read during the rally after intense discussion amongst elected leaders, the clergy, professionals and residents for onward transmission to the BBI secretariat.
“Communities that have been disadvantaged over the years will be pacified by the united communique during the rally that will capture our needs and address them for the good of our people in Ukambani,” said the former Health Cabinet Minister.
Ngilu noted that the region is fully behind the BBI report, adding that the promulgation of the 2010 constitution had gaps that needed to be realigned with the current needs, ‘that time is now here with us.’
Commenting on women leadership at the national level, the Governor said that BBI will ensure inclusivity is achieved, where ‘Women leaders will be part of decision making processes that affect policy formulation and implementation.’
She said that different communities have different challenges, BBI should be designed in a way that it ropes in all communities, embraces diversity and unifies the nation’s broken ties from every general election.
On wealth creation, she said that the initiative will cure the challenges devolution face by allocating 35-45% of the national revenue to the grassroots.
The Makueni County Deputy Governor, Adelina Mwau said that Eastern region has owned the BBI document and the views expressed about equity and bridging the inequalities in resource allocation will ensure the country progresses at the same pace across the board.
Mwau said the region is ready to host the national debate on proposed constitutional changes, which we believe will offer our people a platform to air their views about national matters especially regarding distribution of national resources and inclusivity.
She said Ukambani leaders had consulted with residents of Kitui, Machakos and Makueni counties and compiled a raft of issues they want addressed in the BBI.
“We have a proposal which we will submit on Saturday so that our issues as Ukambani people can be included and addressed in the BBI agenda,” affirmed Mwau.
The BBI report proposes that an executive president will continue heading the government with a vice president as a principal assistant.
However, it proposes that the President will nominate a Prime Minister from the largest party or coalition in parliament who will be in charge of the daily running of government.
The report recommends that Cabinet Secretaries be selected from within and outside parliament and the role to be renamed as Cabinet Ministers.
The report contains proposals aimed at tackling corruption with a recommendation to bar civil servants from doing business with the government.
On gender equality in leadership, the report makes a number of recommendations key among them being that in a case where a governor is a man, his deputy should be a woman and vice versa.
By Yobesh Onwong’a