Governor Oparanya, Wamalwa’s olive branch to MCAs

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 00:00 |
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (right) with Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa address the media in Nairobi yesterday. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG

Mercy Mwai and Douglas Dindi

The Council of Governors (COG) and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa have appealed to Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) to shelve impeachment motions against governors and instead focus their energy towards fighting the coronavirus.

Speaking at a press conference during the unveiling of the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee, COG chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya and Wamalwa said all institutions needed to work together to deal with the pandemic.

The inter-governmental body was formed by Parliament to establish a framework for consultation and co-operation between the national and county governments.

In particular, Oparanya said it was regrettable that resources were being used to kick out governors from positions, yet majority of the counties didn’t have adequate resources in their health facilities.

“I want to urge Members of the County Assemblies to restrain themselves in such a time and use these little resources that are now being used on impeachment to actually fight Covid-19,” he said.

Additional funds

Oparanya disclosed that governors had requested President Uhuru Kenyatta to give them an additional Sh5 billion in the supplementary budget and urged MCAs to engage and support their governors in battling the virus instead of fighting them as they are currently doing.

He said there was a need for prudent use of resources, as counties do not have money, adding that the  little available had already been budgeted for.

“This is the time that Kenyans must come together to ensure that we flatten the curve so that normal life can resume. We want to open the economy and this cannot happen unless we all come together and fight this particular disease,” he said.

“All this money MCAs are spending in hiring lawyers, why can’t we use it to buy PPEs, test kits and expansion of bed capacity?” 

Wamalwa, on the other hand, said there was a need for county governments to work with the national government in mitigating effects of coronavirus.

He noted that while counties were executing their mandate, it was important for them to consider challenges currently facing the country, especially the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wamalwa noted that with the coronavirus caseload expected to peak in July and August, counties should devote their resources to help the President and governors prepare for the peak.

Help appeal

“During this period let us not turn this season into a season of impeachments. We make a special appeal, so that we keep intergovernmental relations at their best and all leaders together, so that we have all hands-on-deck to fight Covid-19,” he said.

The duo’s remarks come at a time when four governors are on the radar of MCAs over alleged misappropriation of funds, barely a week after Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru survived an impeachment motion against her.

The governors not sitting pretty include Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Salim Mvurya (Kwale), Patrick Khaemba (Trans Nzoia), Wilber Ottichilo (Vihiga), Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma) and Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia).

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