Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi has called for a parliamentary system that also allows the President and governors to serve for a one seven-year term only.
He said he has “seen the light” and wants a referendum to amend the Constitution. Kiraitu said his proposed system will ensure inclusive governance and cure the lust for power so those seeking to head the state and the counties do not seek reelection.
“I remember in 2005, I supported a presidential system, while President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga and DP William Ruto supported a parliamentary system. Now I agree,” he said.
“I don’t need more than two terms. Two terms are enough, but it is good we agree that president and governors rule for one term of only seven years. This will give other leaders a chance to serve too.”
Kiraitu spoke at St Joseph’s Cathedral during a thanksgiving Mass for Rev David Kaberia in Igembe. Kaberia has served for 17 years in priesthood. He graduated with a Master of Project Planning and Management from the University of Nairobi.
Kiraitu cautioned that the referendum should not benefit one person or a few people.
“We want a referendum that will create better governance. We want an all-inclusive government where all Kenyans feel a sense of belonging and are proud of their government,” he said.
The county chief also called for more funds to ensure development is felt faster at the grassroots.
Kiraitu is a member of the Council of Governors’ Select Committee on Constitutional Reforms. The Constitution gives at least 15 per cent allocation of national revenues to the counties. That provision allows the government to raise the funds even without a constitutional change.
Kiraitu said giving more cash to the counties has worked well in some countries, citing Japan. It has 47 counties, just like Kenya, but allocates 60 per cent of its budget to the decentralised units. Kiraitu attributed Japan’s high growth rates to the system.
He said his committee is still looking at the Constitution to recommend changes that will ensure the country celebrates its diversity.
MP Rahim Dawood said it was time to change the 20 per cent areas of the supreme law “considered bad” during referendum campaigns.
He proposed that Meru be split into Nyambene and Imenti counties to increase allocations to the region.
The lawmaker pointed out that Isiolo and Lamu have only two constituencies each, while Tharaka Nithi has just three.
With nine constituencies, therefore, Meru deserves to be split so residents can get more funds, he said.
Deputy Governor Titus Ntuchiu urged religious leaders to pray for protection of the county against mischief and blackmail. He defended the Kiraitu administration, saying 1,000 youths have been equipped with technical skills, 100 boreholes sunk in less than one year and Sh900 million allocated to wards.
Ntuchiu said the county government is keen on introducing more initiatives to empower residents and promote sustainable development.