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

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Parliament - SA­MUEL KISIKA @KisikaSam

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’

/MAU­RICE ALAL

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

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