Sunday, 24 March 2013

Governance to improve with devolved structure, says VP

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (centre) at the Nairobi Baptist Church on March 17, 2013. Photo/STEPHEN MUDIARI
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (centre) at the Nairobi Baptist Church on March 17, 2013. Photo/STEPHEN MUDIARI  NATION MEDIA GROUP
Posted  Sunday, March 24  2013 at  14:3

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka on Sunday said Kenyans should gear for a devolved system of government that will change the governance of the country.Mr Musyoka said with the elections of speakers and swearing in of other office bearers at the county level including governors and county representatives will bring governance changes in the new structures of devolution.“This is a week of great reflection as reality of devolution is seen ushering in change in the country’s system of governance,” he said.He also urged the country to remain peaceful ahead of the “crucial week.”The VP told reporters after Palm Sunday service at the Nairobi Baptist Church that the week ahead would demand that we show the value of nationhood, which we have fought hard to regain.“It is important at this time that people get together and pray so that we can maintain that unity of purpose as Kenyans especially during this crucial week,” he said.“We need to reflect on the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the only person who was able to conquer death.”

This week, the Supreme Court is expected to start hearing the three petitions challenging the election results announced two weeks ago by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which declared Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner.Besides being an Easter Week where Christians celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we expect the recently elected governors to be sworn in countrywide on Wednesday.Elected senators and members of the national assembly are also expected to take oath of office on Thursday before they vote in Speakers.Mr Musyoka who was accompanied by Makueni Governor-elect Prof Kivutha Kibwana, Kitui Senator-elect David Musila, Makueni Woman Rep elect Nyiva Mwedwa and Makueni MP-elect Dan Maanzo avoided talking about the petitions but said the swearing in would indicate the “reality of devolution.”The leaders echoed the VP’s sentiments.“Kenyans have invested very heavily to ensure that there is peace in the country. They deserve this peace dividend. I think everything that will happen, will happen in this context of peace, this week,” Prof Kibwana said.

“Kenyans are eagerly waiting for the judgment on the petitions before the Supreme Court. There are people who would want their will to be done, but we will let God’s will be done through the Supreme Court,” added Mr Musila.Meanwhile Mr Maanzo who is seeking the National Assembly Deputy Speaker’s post has criticised the recent salary scaled announced last week by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission for MPs as “unconstitutional.”Mr Maanzo told reporters it was wrong for the commission to set salaries for members of the national assembly yet they do not have any contract apart from the votes they garnered during elections.“There is no contract which we sign. We are only gazetted and sworn in,” he argued adding that the Commission ought to have sought parliamentary approval.“They cannot say that members of parliament are on contractual terms. Whatever happened with the deduction of salaries was unconstitutional, illegal, and undermines the authority of parliament which is a supreme body in the new constitution.”But the Commission, under Article 230 (4a) mandates the Commission to “set and regularly review the remuneration and benefits of all State officers.” Members of the Senate and the National Assembly are state officers.Mr Maanzo is a lawyer and a former Sports Secretary who says he fits the bill to be Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly. He will face Joyce Laboso in the contest.

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