Govt will increase funding to counties says Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto (FILE)

By DPPS

The Government has no plans to take back any of the functions devolved to the county governments, Deputy President William Ruto has said.

The Deputy President said the national government will increase funding to the counties to help them expedite the functions.

Mr. Ruto singled out agriculture and health as key functions that will remain under the management of county governments.

“The essence of devolution is to take services closer to the people and we are committed to ensuring its success,” said Mr. Ruto.

Addressing separate functions at Chemoge and Kimobo Secondary Schools in Mt. Elgon Constituency in Bungoma County, the Deputy President said he was happy that despite the teething problems of devolution, counties across the country were doing a good job.

“County governments across the country have done an exemplary job and we will support them because if devolution succeeds, Kenyans will also succeed,” said Mr. Ruto.

The Deputy President at the same time said there is no debate on the recent Government directive on schools holding certificates of pupils with fees arrears to release them.

Mr. Ruto said the directive was a great relief to parents from poor backgrounds who could not afford to pay the fees arrears to enable their children get the certificates and concentrate on ways of building their future.

“There is no compromise on this. School heads should also be humane and release such certificates as most parents are not able to pay fees for their children. Schools and Government can then explore ways of paying the monies,” said Mr. Ruto.

The Deputy President however commended principals who have already issued certificates to pupils with fees arrears saying they will be able to pursue their future careers.

On the recent cases of pregnancies among young girls in Mt. Elgon, the Deputy President told leaders in the area to change the narratives of the area saying the potentiality of the area if fully exploited will transform the lives of the people.

He asked leaders to forge a common development agenda in confronting the challenges facing the area.

“Leaders should be synonymous with what is happening here. Education is firm foundation for the success of the country and you should be committed to ensuring education for all children in this area,” said Mr. Ruto.

The Deputy President once again, assured Kenyans that the Government will serve them without discrimination.

MPs drawn from both Senate and the National Assembly dismissed calls for a referendum, saying it was a waste of time and resources.

Elgeyo/Marakwet Senator Kipchumba and Kinangop MP Gozi Rai accused CORD principal Raila Odinga of playing with the minds of Kenyans saying he was not interested in development but empty rhetoric.

Mr. Murkomen particularly took issue with CORD principal Raila Odinga saying he was a dictator worst than what was witnessed during the former Kanu regime.

He described the former prime minister as a leader who cannot entertain dissenting opinion among leaders allied to his party.

Mr. Murkomen singled out the ouster of Kilifi North MP Gideon Mungaro as Minority Whip and the recent disruption of ODM election by ‘men in black’ as the work of Mr. Raila Odinga whom he said was taking the country back to the dark days.

“Our brothers at the CORD should sort out their leadership problems first before pointing accusing fingers at the Government which is doing its best to solve the challenges facing Kenyans,” he said.

“CORD should stop pointing out the ills of the Government and yet it has failed to solve the problem of leadership facing his ODM party,” said Mr. Murkomen.

Other leaders who accompanied the Deputy President included Senators Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo/Marakwet County), MPs John Serut (Mt. Elgon), Robert Pukose (Endebes), John Waluke (Sirisia), Konzi Rai (Kinangop), William Cheptumo (Baringo North), Reginalda Wanyonyi (Women MP Bungoma) and Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka among others.

The leaders said Kenyans were not ready to engage on petty politicking saying the country was not ready for a referendum.

Mr. Waluke said he will work closely with the Government in solving the problems facing his constituents, saying it was wrong for some leaders to put the country in a permanent campaign mood.

“Those who lost in the last general election should concentrate on the work of ensuring the Government serves the people well instead of engaging in mere politicking all the years round,” said Mr. Waluke.