CoG backs referendum with conditions

George Kebaso @Morarak

Governors have thrown their weight behind the rising calls for a national review of the Constitution but with caution.

Yesterday, the county chiefs said they will support the referendum only if it advocates for more financial allocations to the counties.

They said the constitutional review, famously being championed by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, would merit their backing if it is based on the needs of Kenyans.

During a consultative meeting at Delta House, Nairobi,  Council of Governors chairman Josphat Nanok said a number of development programmes had not taken off due to slow disbursement of funds.

“The Council of Governors supports the referendum but only if it seeks to increase allocations to counties as in previous call for Pesa Mashinani and if the process is Wanjiku-led,” said Nanok. 

As a result, the CoG chairman said the council will undertake an internal audit to ascertain the rate at which counties have implemented devolution.

“This will, in turn, inform the referendum question for counties,” he added.

The debate to review the Constitution, eight years since its promulgation, kicked off in April this year during the National Devolution Conference in Kakamega when Raila made the proposal.

He proposed an expansion to the devolved structure of government calling on the country to adopt a three-tier government, a proposal that was shelved during the drafting on the 2010 Constitution.

This came hot on the heels of the March 9 ‘Handshake’ between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila.

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