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Inclusivity will de-escalate polarisation and ethnic flare-up, says Wajir governor

Shaffy Mihayo

Oct. 29, 2020

In Summary
• The expansion of the Executive to include Prime Minister and his two deputies will answer the question of inclusivity. • The leader of Official Opposition post will do away with the winner-takes-it-all mentality that leaves the losing side dejected and spoiling for a fight.
THUMBS UP FOR BBI: Governor Mohamed Abdi in Wajir town on Thursday. Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO
The proposed restructuring of government for inclusivity will de-escalate polarisation and ethnic flare-ups witnessed every election cycle, Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi has said. Abdi was on Thursday referring to the Building Bridges Initiative report launched this week at the Bomas of Kenya, a few days after it was presented to Handshake principals President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga. The expansion of the Executive to include the positions of Prime Minister and two deputies will answer the question of inclusivity. The position of leader of Official Opposition will also do away with the winner-takes-it-all mentality that left the losing side dejected, bitter and spoiling for a fight. During the Monday launch of the BBI report, Deputy President William Ruto questioned how this would answer the inclusivity question given that the positions will be filled by presidential appointees. “The President will appoint the PM and the two deputies from the winning coalition. And then we will have the runner-up being the leader of the opposition. The question I am asking myself is, have we sorted out the winner-takes-it-all question?” he asked. But Abdi, who was speaking in Wajir town, said with the runner-up automatically gaining a seat in Parliament as leader of the Official Opposition with a State supported shadow cabinet, accountability will be enhanced and inclusivity sorted out. Abdi said Northern Kenya leaders are happy with the increased revenue allocation to counties from 15 per cent to 35 per cent. He recalled that before devolution, their region had been marginalised by successive governments. The promulgation of the 2010 Constitution changed all that and everybody was now witnessing development. The BBI report proposes, "Chapter 11 should be amended by increasing the resources to the counties from the current 15% to at least 35% of the last audited accounts and ensuring that the focus is on service delivery in the settled and serviced areas, including for people living near the furthest boundaries of each county." Abdi said other welcome proposals are the introduction of the Ward Development Fund and reduction of taxation of new and small businesses through seven-year tax holidays. "All the above are stimulus of growth at the grassroots,” he said. He said he was proud that Wajir had already actualised the Ward Development Fund proposal in its 30 wards. Each ward has in the last financial year been allocated Sh25 million. "It is a success story celebrated by the residents of the 30 wards and approved by the ward representatives." The governor urged Kenyans not to accept to be fed with falsehoods and instead read the report and make informed decisions. “I want to join the President and other leaders in urging Kenyans to read the report objectively, make informed decisions and present their recommendations, if any, for consideration during validation meetings,” he added. - mwaniki fm
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