Governors have been urged to put aside their differences and political rhetoric to focus on serving Kenyans and governing their respective Counties according to the set rules of the constitution. Speaking at the Governors induction meeting, President Uhuru Kenyatta, who officially opened the meeting, said Governors should focus on delivering their mandate, “Irregardless of whether you are in the County or national government, we are elected by the same people, and they didn’t elect us to be divisive or engage in politics,” he said.
He extended a hand of friendship to all Governors, saying they must uphold the constitution as they had pledged when being sworn in, including maintaining Kenya’s territorial cohesion. “Everything we do must be within the constitutional order we have all sworn to uphold. I make it clear that those who wish to operate outside that order can expect nothing else than to be dealt with firmly,” he said. In a stern warning, he added that any action that threatens the territorial integrity of the nation, or life and property won’t be entertained. Furthermore, he reiterated what he said during the Jamhuri Day celebrations that he is open to dialogue and open to talking individually or collectively with each of the Governors to achieve development objectives.
Given that the County governments had various misunderstandings with the national government previously, most notably the issue of disbursement of funds, President Kenyatta said dispute resolution mechanisms are being set up to deal with the issues, instead of solving them in Courts. “Last year in a summit meeting in Sagana I directed the Devolution CS to work with the relevant stakeholders to develop alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. This way, the two levels of government wouldn’t need to go to Court except as a very last solution,” he said. A draft resolution mechanism is ready for validation by all stakeholders, and he urged the Governors to make use of it when it’s ready.