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Uhuru warns separatists, hints at crackdown on secession call leaders

President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama interact with Deputy Governors during the Induction meeting for 2017-2022 County Governors and their deputies at Diani Reef Hotel, Kwale County

President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned of 'firm' action against governor's calling for secession.

Uhuru spoke when he opened a four-day induction workshop for all the 47 governors and their deputies at Diani Reef hotel in Kwale County.

The President used a forum of county governors to issue a stern warning against talk of secession, and hinted at a major crackdown on those threatening to secede.

“Everything we do we must do within constitutional order. So as much as it’s within that order I extend my hand,” he told the meeting in Mombasa.

“Those who wish to operate outside that order can expect nothing else than to be dealt with firmly. We shall not entertain any language, we shall not entertain any action that either threatens territorial integrity of our nation or threatens life,” he said.   

Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho and his Kilifi counterpart, Amason Kingi, both proponents of secession, were absent from the forum.

The two governors and a host of leaders from the region who have been vocal critics of the president and the Jubilee administration have announced that they are pursuing talks on the need for the six coastal counties to secede from Kenya.

Yesterday was also the first time that Uhuru was addressing a forum attended by all the four governors from Migori, Homa Bay, Siaya and Kisumu after the October 26 fresh election.

After his speech, Uhuru held a 20-minute discussion with a panel of governors selected by the Council of Governors to spearhead dialogue and national cohesion following the divisive August-October election cycle.

He told the county bosses that the national government was ready to work with them to achieve development goals and uplift lives, urging counties to avoid referring every dispute with his government to the judiciary.

“We should adhere to the constitutional provision that alternative dispute resolution ought to be a first resort; and litigation a last one.”

Economic growth

The President said counties must be a platform to spur economic growth at the grassroots.

“More importantly, invest in the small and medium-scale enterprises. Such investments will help in creating jobs and harnessing the creativity of our youthful population," he said.

Uhuru urged the governors to rein in on errant public servants.

“I also expect to see decisive action taken against public servants under your supervision who deliberately deprive Kenyans of quality services,” he said.

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