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CRA’s Micah Cheserem wants Governors to serve for single eight-year term

By James Omoro | Published Fri, December 16th 2016 at 13:18, Updated December 16th 2016 at 13:23 GMT +3
The outgoing Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) Chairman Micah Cheserem greets Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti in his office on December 16, 2016. Cheserem said MPs should undertake constitutional amendments to enable Governors serve a single continues term of eight years. BY JAMES OMORO

The Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) wants constitutional amendments to cushion Governors from competing with their opponents in General elections.

The outgoing CRA Chairman Micah Cheserem wants Governors to serve for a single term of eight years.

Speaking when he paid a courtesy call to Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti and his Deputy Hamilton Orata, Cheserem said had Governors should not be subjected to election contests with their opponents.

"Governors should serve for a continuous term of eight years and leave offices peacefully to prevent them from pressure of competing their opponents in General elections," said Cheserem.
The Chairman said legislators should amend the constitution to effect the proposal as a way of giving Governors ample time for undertaking development projects.

He argued that the current constitutional provision subjects the County Chiefs to campaigns after every five years, denying them opportunity to serve their people.

"Many Governors are under pressure to campaign in order to retain their seats. But that pressure should not have been there if they had a single term of eight years," he added.

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Cheserem who was on a fact finding mission on success of devolution argued that such a term would give performing Governors opportunity to development projects to the people.

Cheserem accused Members of the National Assembly of being enemies of devolution. He said the MPs had failed to push for devolution of more funds to county their respective County Governments.

"MPs are a threat to devolution because they have powers to push for devolution of funds from the National Government to their respective counties but they are not doing so," he added.
A similar criticism was also levelled against senators whom he accused of fighting Governors with the aim of unseating them.

"Many senators want to be Governors in 2017 because they were not aware of how important the post is. This fight impacts negatively in the life of a common man," the chairman said.

Cheserem said accused the National Government of inadequate distribution of funds to counties.
He argued that 80 per cent of tax payer's money is held by the National Government as only 20 per cent is given to counties.

He mentioned the Ministry of Health as one of the departments which holds a lot of money which should be given to county Governments to meet health care expenses.

"The Ministry of Agriculture also has a lot of money which should be devolved to counties but they end up spending the money in some projects which cannot really change lives of the people," said Cheserem.

He called on Kenyans to elect representatives who can support devolution during next year's General election.

However, Cheserem warned that the county Chiefs should desist from any form of corruption.
"It is good the Chief Justice said corruption cases will be handled within three months. Any Governor found to be corrupt should be sent home and I will participate in sending them," said Cheserem.

Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti said inadequate funds sent to County Governments are an obstacle to development in counties.

Awiti said his administration was ready for undertaking a lot of development projects but they could not undertake all of them due to shortage of funds.

"Devolution has created job opportunities for many people in this county but the little money from the national Government is a threat. Today, we have some contractors' debts because the money is devolved like a drop of water in the ocean," said Awiti.

Orata said there were interior parts of the county which side-lined by previous regimes but they now have the responsibility of developing them from the scratch.

"We have Lake Victoria islands such as Remba which lack many development projects but we have to start developing them from the beginning. There is dire need for more money in the county to enable us transform live of the people effectively," said Orata.

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