By Dr. Alfred Mutua
The ongoing mediation between the Senate and the National Assembly is critical, especially to Kenyans who are not receiving services and development.
An agreement is vital if devolution is to be enhanced and the Kenyan economy supported to roll back poverty.
The reality is that when counties are not funded as required by the Constitution, suppliers are not paid, services are not rendered and there is reduced consumer spending.
When consumer spending is reduced, manufacturing and its associated chain processes slow down. The feeling among Kenyans that there is no money in circulation then persists. End result? slowdown of the economy which means increased poverty, no new jobs created and suffering by Kenyans.
I am aware and confident that President Uhuru Kenyatta is concerned about the state of things and wants to see economic growth leap to double digits and Agenda Four realized.
As a Governor and having spoken to my colleagues, we have total confidence in the Senate and know that the wise leaders of the Senate and National Assembly will find a way, because there is always a way.
Therefore, I urge the negotiating team to bear in mind that this process is not just about who gets what but about the livelihood and indeed the lives of children, youth, mothers and fathers of this country who are languishing in poverty.
Successful mediations and negotiations are about flexibility, looking at the big picture and an attitude that allows give and take.
DUALE ON THE SPOT
To this end, we have noticed, and it is in the public domain, that National Assembly Leader Hon. Aden Duale has taken hardline positions and publicly declared his stance.
We respect Hon. Duale but feel that as the Majority leader, the negotiations are not at his stage yet. His presence is not helping but perpetuating differences as Kenyans suffer and die.
We humbly urge him to recuse himself from the mediation process and let others deal with the issue. If they are unable, then the majority leaders can now come in.
We request Speaker Justin Muturi to find a replacement for Hon. Duale so that the National Assembly Majority leader can concentrate on other important national and parliamentary business the way the Senate Majority leader is doing.
Let me reiterate that it is important that a solution is found soon, for the sake of the country and also to enable President Uhuru’s agenda to succeed well. Every day that passes with no solution, Kenyans get poorer as President Uhuru’s plans are technically scuttled.
Dr. Alfred N. Mutua, E.G.H.,
Maendeleo Chap Chap Party Leader & Governor of Machakos.
August 21, 2019