47 counties should not be used to create 47 countries, Justice Minister cautions Kenyans
Written by Leonard Wamalwa 2012-08-14 12:23:00 Read 522 Times
Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa have cautioned Kenyans against using the devolved governments to divide the country and form 47 countries.
Speaking at Kitale Museum during a Trans Nzoia County Peace Forum Wamalwa said that the creation of the 47 counties under devolution was meant to develop them under one country bearing in mind that some of them have lagged behind in development in the previous regimes and governance as a result of bad politics.
"When we talk of devolution we do not mean that we are creating 47 countries but we are developing 47 counties under one country. It does not mean that as a county we now sideline ourselves from other counties in the country," said Wamalwa.
The Saboti MP further urged Kenyans to maintain peace in the run to the next polls so that the country does not plunge itself into the 2007/2008 post election violence scenario where over 1000 people lost their lives and property worth millions destroyed.
Wamalwa cited the Mombasa Republican Council -MRC group that claims that Coast is not part of Kenya saying that they have missed a point because there is only one country with 47 counties and thus there is no move for secession by any part or group of this country.
The minister pointed out that the electorate has all the mandate to put in place all the leaders provided by the new laws to have credible leaders that can forge for development in their respective areas.
At the same time Wamalwa urged people from all communities living in Trans Nzoia County to maintain the peace and coexistence that has prevailed for a long time despite their ethnic diversity that has all the 42 tribes residing there.
He noted that during the 2007/2008 post election violence, Trans Nzoia was a haven of peace and therefore the same spirit should be maintained and make the county become a model county in terms of peace before the next elections so that other counties can emulate.
The legislator further urged for enhancement of cohesiveness among all the counties noting that national cohesion can not be achieved if at all the counties are not observing the same at their levels.
"I know that we cannot talk of national cohesion if the counties are not a cohesive unit themselves. National cohesion must start at the counties whereby we must first create county cohesion before we achieve national cohesion," said Wamalwa.
On elections date Wamalwa affirmed that it is clear that Kenyans shall go to polls in March 4 2013 as it was ruled by the High Court and Court of Appeal and therefore cautioned against any confusion by a section of politicians.
Labor PS Beatrice Kituyi speaking at the Trans Nzoia peace forum held at the Kitale Museum.
The minister's response was as a result of an earlier move by Labor Permanent Secretary Beatrice Kituyi who attended the Peace Forum urging him to clear the air about the confusion surrounding the elections date pointing out that there are politicians who are still talking of the December 2012 date as others talk of March 2013.
In what was seen as an affirmation of his presidential bid, Wamalwa said that he was still in the race and he was sure he will attain something in the competition.
Speaking in a parable form he compared the presidential race to the just completed Olympics competition in London whereby the top three winners of any discipline get the three medals of gold, silver and bronze which he said he will at least get one of them.
"You people of Trans Nzoia are among a few counties among the 47 that shall have your own son in the Olympics race of the Kenyan presidency and I am sure I will bring home something if not gold then silver or bronze," Wamalwa said amid cheers.
He reminded them that in the eventuality that there is no outright winner who attains 50 plus one votes then definitely there shall be a run off between the two top contenders within 30 days to decide the final winner in the grand finale.
In his speech Minister for Wildlife and Forestry Noah Wekesa pointed out that clashes that have occurred within Trans Nzoia County in 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007 were as a result land disputes and bad politics.
He further noted that despite the diverse communities living in the county maintaining peace and coexistence, there has been people from other counties that incite and plant violence agenda among them.
He therefore urged the residents not to accept to be incited by outsiders who come in the area with the agenda of violence and divisions along party or ethnic lines.
The two-day peace forum was attended by different groups of people from the entire county including politicians, administrators, civil society, people from marginalized groups especially the disabled, youths, women groups among others.
The justice minister later read the presidents speech on the ongoing county forums for peaceful elections whereby the president said the forums had a nonpartisan approach to the matters being addressed.
He said the government has thus organized the forums on peaceful elections to widen space for dialogue by involving a wider array of stakeholders and actors to general short term, medium term and long term strategies to nurture and entrench cohesion and integration.
The forums are also aimed at having the leaders inculcate a sense of national and belonging among the citizenry hence provide platform for dialogue for all on significance of peaceful elections.
It will also enable Kenyans chat forward the way of modalities of having a conducive environment for sustainable peace, social progress and development even after the elections.