The business community and leaders in Meru have thanked the Council of Governors (CoG) and its former chairman Isaac Ruto for elevating Meru Governor Peter Munya to be their new boss.
Speaking in Igembe and Tigania, the leaders said Meru has now been catapulted to national limelight courtesy of Mr Munya’s election as chairman of the CoG.
They said the other 46 governors from different political parties, in rallying behind Munya, had opened a new chapter in Kenyan politics where party or tribal affiliations would not be considerations for one to get elected.
“Kenyans have noted how the governors elected their new chairman and filled other positions. Munya is a Jubilee member but governors affiliated to Coalition for Reforms and Democracy supported him.
They have come with a new style that we must embrace in future elections. Now the ball is in Munya’s court and we want him to strengthen devolution and continue the fight his predecessor started, that of fighting for more funds for the counties,” said Mike Makarena, the chairman of the African Disabled Network and also a prominent businessman.
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Julius Taitumu, the Meru Kenya National Union of Teachers branch executive secretary, said the teaching fraternity welcomed Munya’s elevation because he is a known advocate for human rights.
“Munya is now boss of all governors and is leading them to realise the fruits of devolution. His election as CoG chief has shown leaders can be chosen without considering their tribes or political associations,” Mr Taitumu said.
Former assistant minister and Nyambene MP Joseph Mutuura said owing to Munya’s leadership, other counties have embraced the Malaysian Probase technology that he is using to construct roads.
“Other county governments are flooding Meru to come see the Probase technology which is much cheaper and makes roads last longer than the conventional method. Our Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital now has dialysis machines and other state-of-the-art equipment,” said Mr Mutuura.
Miraa farmers and traders association lauded governors for settling on Munya and pleaded with him to intervene for them in the wake of the United Kingdom’s miraa ban.
“We expect him to be more assertive and effective than even Governor Ruto. He has to, otherwise Kenyans will feel let down,” said Ben Mwiti, a trader who exports to miraa to Somalia.
Meanwhile, Munya now wants national government monitoring agencies to pay as much attention to management of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) as they were doing to county funds.
Speaking in Muthara and Kianjai markets in Meru North, Munya claimed that agencies such as the Controller and Auditor General and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) were over concentrating on monitoring the county governments while allowing the CDFs to “get away with murder.”
“The CDF of nowadays is not the CDF of our times when the wananchi really felt the effect on the grassroots,” Munya claimed in Muthara market.
The COG chair said he was surprised that Government monitoring agencies were finding no fault with management of the CDF kitty when even the mwananchi had completely lost hope and placed all trust on county governments.
He accused MPs who are patrons of the CDF of not implementing projects that help the people and cited renovations of primary and secondary schools as one of the projects which was no longer prioritised by the constituency funds.
He also said most constituency funds were not offering logical bursaries to needy students saying where Sh10,000 was offered to a child from a poor family, it was not helpful because it could not even cater for their schooling in one year.
“On the contrary, most counties have launched bursaries which offer full tuition fees to needy students though in Meru we are limiting that to two most needy students from each constituency,” said Munya.