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CORD calls for talks with the President Uhuru Kenyatta over financial crisis

By RUSHDIE OUDIA and ISAIAH GWENGI | October 18th 2015
Siaya senator James Orengo (right) with Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua (center) and Prof Patrick Lumumba during the burial of the late Henry Wilson Odiyo in Rarieda Siaya county on October 17 2015. The deceased was the father to former Rariada MP Raphael Tuju. PHOTO: COLLINS ODUOR

KENYA: CORD leaders now want President Uhuru Kenyatta to convene a round table meeting with all parties to chart the way forward on the country’s financial crisis.

Siaya Senator James Orengo asked the Head of State to engage the Opposition to share ideas on how to overcome the cash crunch.

At the same time he asked the President to address the nation over the matter that has raised concern.

“The President should sit with leaders from across the political divide and seek wise counsel on how to tackle the financial crisis,” said Orengo.

The Siaya Senator supported CORD co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka’s proposal that Kenyatta should resign if he can’t handle the heat.

Mr Orengo said neither the Deputy President William Ruto nor the Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich can address the public about the issue. “When America was in such a situation, the president came out and told the citizens the truth,” said the senator, adding that if he does not, people will assume that he does not care.

He claimed that all government institutions were riddled with corruption making it difficult for the country to advance.

Orengo urged the Government to borrow more funds to pay accrued debts.

He denied claims that the political positions that came with devolution had contributed to the financial crisis and the ballooning wage bill.

The senator indicated that only a small percentage of the funds go to the wage bill and the crisis is as a result of poor financial management by the national government.

“Counties inherited staff from the national government who they are still paying. More than 80 per cent of funds are retained by the national government with only Sh300 billion going to counties, therefore it is not devolution that has contributed to the financial crisis,” said Orengo.

Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo said it was no longer a secret that Kenya was facing a financial crisis and asked the President to act fast to restore faith in the government. He advised the President to cut down unnecessary expenditure by the government.

Eng Gumbo blamed the financial crisis on low revenue collection, the weak shilling and the volatility of interest rates. “There is too much wastage of funds in expenditure by the National Government. The Government used Sh1.4 billion on foreign trips,” said Gumbo.

Nyando MP Fred Outa supported calls for a round table meeting with the President to save the county from the financial ruin. He said even legislators have no funds to run Constituency Development Funds projects.

The leaders were speaking yesterday in Rarieda, Siaya County at the funeral of Henry Wilson Odiyo Tuju, father to former Foreign Affairs Minister Raphael Tuju.

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