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Jubilee courting county leaders to undermine devolution, claims Raila Odinga

Updated Monday, July 1st 2013 at 00:00 GMT +3
CORD leader Raila Odinga (right) with former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka during the minority coalition’s governors and senators’ retreat at a Mombasa hotel Sunday. [Photo: Omondi Onyango/Standard]

By Patrick Beja

Mombasa, Kenya: Three top Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leaders Sunday claimed the Jubilee Government was courting governors to support programmes that undermine devolution.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula, however, told CORD governors and senators to remain firm and focus on the opposition coalition’s agenda to ensure devolution is strengthened.

Raila led a strategic forum with coalition governors and senators at a Mombasa hotel in preparation for the 2017 polls where he told the Jubilee government to pay teachers the disputed perks.

Raila dismissed the allocation of billions of shillings for laptops for young children, saying Jubilee should get its priorities right as the funds were going down the drain.

He insisted Information and Communication Technology education should begin with setting up computer laboratories in each school and introducing a crash training programme for teachers for the plan to succeed.

“If they give laptop computers to young children, they could lose them to other people on the way to school. It is like climbing a tree from the top and the money will have gone down the drain,” Raila warned.

He observed that the Government had lost Sh9 billion in the procurement of biometric voter registration kits in a similar fashion and that the gadgets never worked.

Provision of education

He also called for constitutional amendments to place the provision of education under counties instead of the national Government to speed up development.

At the same time, Raila took issue with the national Government for retaining county commissioners, insisting this was being done for ‘fear of the unknown’ and could kill devolution.

Raila insisted county commissioners and district commissioners were a parallel administrative system and duplication in government that would interfere with the work of governors.

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