Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka has said he will oppose any constitutional amendments seeking to claw back gains in devolution.
Mr Musyoka said this on Sunday, noting that the matter of a higher wage bill should not be used to do away with institutions such as the senate and county assemblies, which are critical to the success of devolution.
Speaking at Our Lady of Rosary Catholic Church in Mua Hills, Machakos County, Mr Musyoka said such institutions should instead be strengthened for the oversight role.
“When the time for the debate on the amendment of the Constitution comes, I will stand and oppose any attempts to erode the benefits of devolution,” he said.
He added that the debate on doing away with nominated members of the senate and county assemblies will be counterproductive in addressing the gender balance issue.
The politician, a principal of the National Super Alliance (Nasa), said the greatest threat to devolution is corruption and misuse of public funds by some governors.
If the purge is sustained, he said, counties will have enough money for their operations.
“To me, the issue is not of the wage bill but of monies looted by governors. That is why we need to stand with President [Uhuru] Kenyatta in his fight against corruption.”
While giving the example of Migori Governor Okoth Obado, who has been implicated in a Sh2.5 billion corruption scandal, he said there are many more governors with similar cases.
Migori County awarded a road repair contract to a firm that the governor is believed to have used to syphon over Sh2.5 billion. This was four months after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) froze its accounts and informed the devolved unit of ongoing investigations.
Janto Construction was in March awarded a tender to repair Nyabisawa-Jumbo Road for Sh16.8 million
Mr Musyoka praised the Machakos County Assembly, under the leadership of Speaker Florence Mwangangi, saying it performs its oversight role diligently.
Former Kathiani Member of Parliament (MP) Wavinya Ndeti and Majority Leader Mark Muendo defended the speaker against accusations of bias levelled by Governor Alfred Mutua.
Ms Ndeti said Ms Mwangangi is qualified to lead the assembly as she has significant experience in the legal practice.
Governor Mutua last week accused the speaker of misleading the assembly.
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