Deputy President William Ruto on Thursday lambasted former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s recent sentiments regarding the formation of regional governments.
DP Ruto made the remarks while addressing dignitaries on the final day of the devolutions conference 2019, held in Kirinyaga county.
“In the face of harsh and stack realities, suggestions for the creation of other layers of government and bureaucracy is reckless. It is actually pedestrian and outrightly thoughtless,” he stated.
The deputy president’s statement was in response to Raila’s recent reiteration for the need of a three-tier government, saying current counties were too small to raise funds for necessary infrastructure projects.
However, the DP felt that Raila’s view was anti-devolution, stating that setting up of extra levels of government would be a burden that the taxpayer couldn’t possibly bear.
Adding that 52 per cent of current revenues is used to pay salaries and wages of government workers with an additional 30 per cent used in recurrent expenditure.
He opted to urge the dignitaries to focus on how to operationalise the Ward Development Fund as a way of entrenching devolution to the villages.
Raila had on Wednesday questioned Ruto’s devotion to the war on graft, citing the recent mega-dam scandal.
“If you are talking about the theft of dams and figures, don’t come and tell us it was not Ksh20 billion and only Ksh7 billion. Let the investigating authorities tell us. Who are you to tell us? How did you know?” he remarked.
In his closing remarks, the deputy president went on to rubbish claims of a rift between him and Raila, stating that their differing opinions were just a result of a healthy democracy.
“Competition brings out the best in all of us and therefore nobody should be worried that I have a problem with the former Prime Minister. There’s no issue,” he asserted.
His move to clear the air regarding his current relations with the former prime minister was driven by statements made earlier by Makueni Governor, Kivutha Kibwana, calling for a truce between the two leaders.