Member of Parliament (MP) for Galole in Tana River County, Said Buya Hiribae, has thrown his weight behind calls for the secession of the Coastal region.
Hiribae says the region had been marginalized by successive governments and needed to determine its own destiny.
The MP was speaking at the Hola Methodist Church, Saturday, during the funeral service of the late Japhet Zakaria Kase, a former Assistant Minister in the Jomo Kenyatta Administration, who died recently after a long illness.
I am one of those who have called for secession, but we do not seek to govern ourselves so that we can chase away upcountry people living in the Coast, he said.
Hiribae said proponents of the secession initiative would follow the law in their quest to have the people of the region govern themselves, allaying fears that arms would be used to eject non-indigenous people.
This region is cosmopolitan, with almost all the 43 ethnic groups in Kenya being represented. We do not intend to chase away anybody, he said.
The MP said although the region’s counties were receiving funds from the National Government through devolution, what was being given was not commensurate with what the region required.
Currently, people are being employed at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), but our people are not being given those jobs, this is the marginalization we are talking about, he said.
The Legislator was responding to sentiments by the Garissa Deputy County Commissioner, Abdullahi Galgalo, who urged Tana River leaders to reject the calls for secession.
Galgalo, who hails from Garsen Constituency, said the County was not able to sustain itself financially if it was removed out of Kenya.
At the moment, we are receiving about Sh5 billion from the exchequer and we cannot even raise S00 million from our local sources, he said.
He asked Governor Dhadho Godhana to play mature politics and shun calls for secession and instead strive to unite the various ethnic communities residing in the County.
The Governor, who was present at the ceremony, steered clear of the controversial secession talk being propagated by among others Kilifi and Mombasa Governors Amason Kingi and Hassan Ali Joho respectively.
Earlier in the week, the Governor said he would consult leaders in the County before making his position known on the matter.
Source: Kenya News Agency