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Odinga, Ruto clash on whether Kenya needs more decentralisation

Odinga, Ruto clash on whether Kenya needs more decentralisation


Kenya’s deputy president William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga have clashed yet again on how they think the country should be governed.

Odinga and Ruto both addressed a governors’ conference with the latter sought to explain why Raila’s proposal of a three tier government was not in the interests of the Kenyan people.

Accusing Odinga of engaging in idle talk, he explained that creating another layer of government would only give power to certain people at the top rather than supporting counties.

“If there is going to be a suggestion on arranging or rearranging of devolution, it cannot be creating another layer of government. It will be taking counties to the walls,” Ruto said.

Odinga had on Wednesday called for establishing of a three level government that has counties, regional blocs and the national government.

He argued that the current system that divides the country into 47 counties had failed to attract investment because the size of the counties is not economically viable.

“There is need for the country to adopt a three-tier system that retains the current counties, creates regional governments and retains the National Government, to create units with the size and population that are economically viable,’‘ argued Odinga.

‘No need for a referendum’

Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement party has also been pushing for a referendum to accomodate constitutional reforms that would expand the executive by introducing the position of prime minister.

They argue that since Odinga reconciled with the Uhuru Kenyatta led government, positions for key opposition leaders must be created to strengthen the unity pact.

Ruto, clarified that while he is not opposed to discussions on expanding the structure of the executive, he believes it could be done without a costly referendum, coming after a lengthy electioneering period.

President Kenyatta who has not yet weighed in on the discussion for proposed amendments, is expected to do so when he delivers the State of the Nation address on May 2.

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