The governors demean us during devolution summits, senators protest to Ethuro
Want to be involved fully in planning and protocol followed. Say past three events have been public relations exercise and showbiz for governors
Senators have criticised governors for humiliating them during the annual devolution conferences. They said the three conferences were public relations exercises and show business.
The governors are planning the fourth summit, which is estimated to cost Sh200 million. The senators said they are sidelined in the planning, despite defending devolution.
They were reacting to a communication by Speaker Ekwee Ethuro from the Council of Governors, informing them about the February conference. They demanded to be involved fully. The summit will be at the Maasai Mara, Narok county, on February 20-24.
“If we want to make it a devolution conference. We must be allowed, as stakeholders – both county assemblies and the Senate – to participate. In Kwale, Kisumu and even Meru, our responsibility was just to go and clap,” Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet) said.
He said they will not allow governors to use them to rubber-stamp mismanagement and lack of oversight and accountability.
Senate minority leader Moses Wetang’ula said they are obligated to attend the conference only if they are not left on the periphery as “people display non-existent things.”
The senators demanded an assurance they would be treated fairly and the Senate Devolution committee allowed to participate in the planning.
“We should not go there to be statistics; that also in attendance were senators. We want a very firm commitment from your [Speaker’s] office,” he said.
They cited mischief in protocol in the past summits. Ben Njoroge (nominated), who accompanied Ethuro during the third conference in Meru, said he walked out of the meeting when Ethuro was belittled.
“I felt so humiliated when I saw the governor having water put on his table, while they made sure your [Ethuro’s] water was put on the floor,” he said.
Ethuro assured the senators their concerns are being addressed, as two senators and two representatives from the Clerk’s office are involved in the planning.
‘THEY MADE SURE YOUR [ETHURO’S] WATER WAS PUT ON THE FLOOR’
Meru Governor Peter Munya, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, President Uhuru Kenyatta and other leaders chat during the Second Annual Devolution Conference in Kisumu on April 22 last year