Kisumu, Kenya: Governors have called for amendment of the Constitution to give them powers to handle security in their counties.
This, they add, is in a bid to help tackle insecurity rocking the country.
The county chiefs also want police retrained and restructured to conform to the devolved system of governance.
The governors have also called for the formation of a homeland security docket.
Speaking during the second annual devolution conference at Kisumu’s Tom Mboya Labour College, the county bosses faulted some central government officials whom they accused of being rigid in the management of security in the nation.
“Let us change the law to handle security collectively. The consumers of security are the people. This should not be the preserve of the national government,” said Marsabit Governor Ukur Yattani, chairman of the Council of Governors (CoG) security committee.
His Nakuru counterpart Kinuthia Mbugua called for the strengthening of the county policing authority by allowing the body to be funded directly by county administrations.
“This authority is critical as it establishes structures to implement community policing and should directly be under the county governments to make it effective, rather than leave it under the National Police Service Commission,” he said.
Tana River Governor Hussein Dado noted that all governors were willing to work together with the State to address insecurity.
“Governors know the dynamics of counties better than the rest of the people. Let the Senate make this possible by making necessary laws,” Dado said.
Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka noted that intelligence was key to better security and his sentiments were echoed by Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi.
Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi noted if governors were involved in security, Kenya would be safer.
Garissa Senator Yussuf Haji called on the national government to work together with governors to tackle insecurity.
Majority Senate Whip Beatrice Elachi called on the Government to motivate the police by paying them well and providing them with good housing.
Security expert Simiyu Werunga urged governors to come up with a security framework while British High Commissioner Christian Turner said security is critical if terrorism is to be eliminated.