DEVOLUTION CRUCIAL

Visionless leaders after constitutional amendment, says Kibwana

Makueni governor says constitutional changes should strengthen devolution and involve all stakeholders, not just the political class

In Summary

• Kibwana said devolution has the potential to spur and sustain development in all parts of the country.

• He was the chief guest at Kima Mission Church of God during the opening of a biannual conference in Luanda, Vihiga.

Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichillo and his Makueni counterpart Kivutha Kibwana at Kima Mission Church of God headquarters in Luanda, Vihiga
VIHIGA Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichillo and his Makueni counterpart Kivutha Kibwana at Kima Mission Church of God headquarters in Luanda, Vihiga
Image: MARTIN OMBIMA

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana says most leaders calling for constitutional amendments have no vision, mission and urgency to fulfil their pledges to the electorate. 

 

He said on Friday constitutional changes should strengthen devolution and involve all stakeholders, not just the political class.

He spoke at Kima Mission Church of God headquarters during the official opening of a biannual conference in Luanda, Vihiga. He was the chief guest. 

 

Kibwana said devolution has the potential to spur and sustain development in all parts of the country. Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichillo concurred. 

"We are all involved in this devolution, be it the political class or the church at large. Therefore, [with regard to] these political winds of amending the Constitution, the church should come on the frontline and give proper guidelines," Kibwana said. 

He said the church should not give space to oppressors.  "The church should be the voice of the voiceless, protect the unprotected, and support those who are not supported."

Kibwana cautioned that wrangles have been on the rise in churches and called for amicable solutions to differences between the faithful and clerics. Church of God Archbishop Byram Makokha shared similar sentiments.

"The devil works to destroy the work of God and his ministry but we will keep on praying to overcome those temptations," Makokha said, urging Kenyans to support devolution.

Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichillo and his Makueni counterpart Kivutha Kibwana in Ottichillo's office yesterday
Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichillo and his Makueni counterpart Kivutha Kibwana in Ottichillo's office yesterday
Image: MARTIN OMBIMA

On the revenue allocation tussle that pits the National Assembly against the Senate, Kibwana warned that the devolution could be strangled if a solution is not found soon. He said most county operations have stalled because of insufficient funds. Only those supported by NGOs or those catered for in the 2018-19 budget are on, he said.

 

"We understand that devolution started with a poor record. We had no well-developed infrastructure and most of the governors had no capacity to run the counties," he said.

 

Kibwana said most pioneer governors were learners and pacesetters. "Most people had high expectations on this devolution, which was unfair," he said.

He appealed to the county governments to come up with strategies to increase revenue collection to facilitate their activities without relying on the national government.

(Edited by F'Orieny)