Mandera leaders declare support for Uhuru-Raila deal

Political leaders in Mandera County have thrown their weight behind President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga, saying the two leaders' pact will help develop the country.

More than 45 leaders, including all elected MPs and Senator, joined Members of County Assembly and said their interests were better off in the new-look deal to help push the President's Big Four agenda and his quest for a united country.

The meeting dubbed ‘Mandera declaration' was led by Governor Ali Roba at a hotel in the county.

The leaders discussed scaling up Covid-19 interventions, insecurity and other matters of the county's interest. The meeting closely follows one in which Roba was hosted by Raila at the latter's Karen home to discuss political partnerships, deepening of devolution and networking ahead of resumption of BBI rallies.

More than 30 MCAs attended. “We, the leaders of Mandera, do reaffirm our continued political support for President Uhuru Kenyatta and the extended partnership between him and Raila through the famous handshake,” said Roba, who read the declaration.

“We fully support the Building Bridges Initiative with a view to increasing resources towards devolution,” he added.

Economic Freedom Party, through its chairman Isaak Abey, welcomed the move, saying the decision by the leaders to close ranks in support of Uhuru and Raila would ensure the region benefited more from Jubilee’s development agenda.

“The fact that MCAs, our Senator, Woman Representative and all people of goodwill would join hands for a better Mandera couldn't have come at a better time,” said Abey.

He added: “There is still a lot of work lying ahead and the people of Mandera expect us to deliver. We still need to build more schools, have healthcare accessible in every corner of our vast county, provide clean water for all and improve our food security through better, modern and sustainable agriculture.”

The leaders said the region had benefited from Uhuru’s administration through various government appointments, listing Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed, CAS Hassan Noor Hassan and PS Ali Noor Ismail.

They also appealed to Uhuru to consider reassigning dewhipped committee chairpersons – Senator Mohmoud Mohamed (Finance) and Adan Ali (Agriculture) – to other departmental committees.

“We are very concerned with the recent de-whipping of the Senate Finance Committee chair, Senator Mahmoud Mohamed, and the Agriculture Committee chair of the National Assembly, Ali Kullow Sheikh,” said Roba.

“We appeal to the President to understand that our expectation is very high in getting consideration and protection of the positions given to us and further appeal to him to consider reassigning the two leaders to other House committees,” he added.

The meeting declared its full support for the BBI and Jubilee’s Big Four agenda while encouraging the BBI task-force to ensure the final document pushes for more resources to the devolved units.

“We encourage the BBI task-force to make sure that it improves devolution by allocating more resources to counties from the current 15 per cent to 45 per cent,” said Roba.

On security concerns, the leaders appealed to the President to ensure the relocation of foreign forces led by Somali fugitive Abdirashid Janan from Mandera County, arguing that it was posing a security threat.

The Standard
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