President Uhuru Kenyatta has told Governors and Senators to be realistic in their demand for additional funds for county governments saying the national government cannot afford to give more than what has been allocated.
The President said the national government doesn’t have the resources the leaders are demanding for and urged governors to devise ways of running the devolved units within the allocated limits.
“You cannot eat what you have not produced. We would want to allocate you the money you are requesting but we don’t have it. Please Governors utilize what you have,” President Kenyatta said.
The President spoke in Gatanga, Murang’a County where he joined mourners for the burial service of Mama Rahab Wambui Muhuni, the mother of former area MP Peter Kenneth.
The burial service which was held at Kirwara Boys Secondary School was attended by among other leaders Deputy President Dr William Ruto, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Vice President Musalia Mudavadi.
The President said the Division of Revenue Bill need not be contentious if all leaders realize that the country utilises taxes collected from wananchi for its development needs and that it has no other means of getting funds.
“We would want our Counties to progress and develop but where will we get that money? You cannot make or print money,” the President said.
He said at no time will he allow a few individuals to pocket public funds at the expense of development projects meant to benefit all Kenyans.
The President said if Governors and Senators want more funds to be allocated to the devolved units then they are free to deduct their salaries and add to what has been allocated.
“We have allocated you funds according to what we have, we cannot state more than that,” said the President.
President Kenyatta eulogised Mama Rahab as a hardworking and committed woman whose fruits of labour can be seen by all Kenyans through her children.
“We thank God for the many things she managed to accomplish by the grace of God. We can all witness she was a hard working mother who raised her family well,” said the President.
She urged Kenyans to emulate her example by working hard and by instilling virtues of discipline, integrity and commitment to the young generation so as to ensure Kenya develops into a prosperous nation.
The President said his government will continue to initiate projects aimed at facilitating economic growth in the country and cited plans to tarmac roads connecting Kiambu, Murang’a and Nyeri counties.
Among the roads whose construction the President said will commence soon include the Kigumo-Gatanga-Njambini-Naivasha road and the dualing of Kenol-Sagana-Nyeri-Isiolo road.
He said the road infrastructure will ensure farmers in the agriculturally rich Mount Kenya region are able to access markets for their produce.
President Kenyatta also announced that the government has set aside Shs 3 billion for coffee farmers, saying the Ministry of Industrialization, Cooperative Development and Trade led by CS Peter Munya will oversee the utilization of the funds so as to improve coffee production.
The Head of State emphasized the importance of national unity and peace saying a cohesive Kenya will guarantee economic prosperity for all.
Deputy President Dr Ruto called on all Kenyans to continue supporting the President in his efforts to unite the country and in implementation of development projects.
“We are witnesses and we are all confident that the transformation you promised Kenyans is well underway,” the Deputy President said.
“As our national leader, I want to assure you what you began in 2013, uniting Kenyans and what you continued in 2018, we will support you in unifying Kenyans while discarding divisive, tribal and propaganda politics so that we can have a united and developed Kenya,” he continued.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Vice President Musalia Mudavadi commended the President for the war against corruption saying a lot more can be achieved in the country once graft is dealt with.
“We want to work together for the progress of the country. Kenya cannot move forward if we have destructive individuals who think of themselves all the time. Corruption must be dealt with. Justice must be done so that the truth can come out clearly,” said the former Prime Minister.
Others who spoke at the burial service included Murang’a County Governor Mwangi wa Iria, County MP Sabina Chege, Senator Irungu Kang’ata and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary General Dr Mukhisa Kituyi