George Kebaso @Morarak
Any proposed changes to the Constitution to reduce the number of counties from 47 is a recipe for chaos, lawyer Kamotho Waiganjo has warned.
And Senate Speaker, Kenneth Lusaka concurred with Waiganjo that attempting to reduce counties, would create more confusion among Kenyans, who have tasted the fruit of devolution.
“People have experienced devolution and if you tell them that you intend to alter that arrangement, be sure to have it resisted. Anything that would threaten devolution should be resisted,” he said.
Waiganjo also criticised proposals to change the Constitution to accommodate a three-tier government, saying it is a wasteful exercise.
The move, he said, will only establish more “lords and ladies” and another level of wastage and conflict.
Speaking at a capacity building workshop for Senate staff yesterday, he urged citizens to resist any changes to the Constitution that do not support strengthening of devolution.
Waiganjo said the impending law review should be anchored on improving resource accountability and be one that advocates for increased timely budgetary allocation to the counties.
Waiganjo, who is closely associated with the making of the Constitution, has described as idle talk debate on review of the law without taking into consideration the gains devolution has made by taking services closer to the people.
“Parts of our Constitution, especially those that touch on devolution, are pro-people and should not be touched. If the referendum is not about strengthening devolution, then it is as good as dead. Any review that does not include reduction in size of the legislature at the national and county level must be rejected,” he said.
The referendum talk first surfaced at the National Devolution Conference in Kakamega in April when Opposition leader Raila Odinga proposed changes to the law that would see devolution units maintained but clustered into 12 regional blocs.
Waiganjo said the public is supporting the referendum on the naive premise that it is intended to resolve the cost of government which many, without knowledge, assume is the cause of Kenya’s fiscal crisis.