Uhuru turns up the heat on Munya over miraa dispute

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By FELIX OLICK @olickfelix
Monday, September 19, 2016

State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu during a press briefing at State House, Nairobi yesterday.Esipisu heaped blame on Meru Governor Munya over the Miraa debacle and warned all governors that they do not run sovereign States..Photo/PSCU


State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu yesterday read the Riot Act to Meru Governor Peter Munya over the temporary ban on miraa in Somalia.

He blamed Munya for the miraa debacle and warned all governors they do not run sovereign states.

Esipisu said Munya traveled to Somalia and purported to reach an agreement with some authorities about miraa exports.

“Whatever his intentions, good or otherwise, Munya went and held discussions with a regional administration without the knowledge of the Federal Government of Somalia, or indeed, without any consultations whatsoever or advice from the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which the mandate to manage our foreign relations is vested,” he said.

Esipisu said the Somali government took the view Kenya recognised Somaliland as an independent state, causing the ban.

The ban was lifted last week after a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somali counterpart Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud.

The temporary ban has turned into a political hot potato for Munya who is also the chairman of the Council of Governors.

Political rivals have turned the issue into a political football.

Esipisu warned governors against having discussions with sovereign governments. He said governors must consult the Foreign Affairs ministry and most importantly, authorities in the countries in which they wish to engage.

“Talking to governments takes a certain decorum and protocol. It is not like talking to a private enterprise. County governments are regional administrations in the Republic of Kenya. They do not hold sovereign power,” Esipisu said.

“As Governor Munya’s lesson shows, decisions taken without proper consultation or advice end up causing crises and discomfort when there is really no reason for either.”

Esipisu defended the summits convened by State House and dismissed claims Jubilee is making new promises without fulfilling the ones made in 2013.

The government has held summits on health, infrastructure, tourism and energy.

“It is time the Jubilee government told Kenyans their performance record. They have forgotten the 2013 election promises and are now busy unveiling the 2017 promises,” opposition leader Raila Odinga said two weeks ago.

The ODM leader received five Kwale MCAs who defected from Jubilee at the party’s gala dinner in Mombasa.

“The defection to ODM proves this is the party to beat in the polls,” Kwale branch deputy party leader Nicholas Zani said.

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