President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned that stern action would be taken against anyone threatening the country’s peace and stability.
In an apparent reference to calls by the opposition for secession and plans to swear in Nasa leader Raila Odinga as ‘people’s president’, the Head of State on Thursday said those who “cross the line” will not be tolerated.
“We will not entertain any language, any action that threaten our territorial integrity,” A hard-hitting Kenyatta told governors and their deputies on their first meeting at Diani Reef Hotel in Kwale County.
“We can have dialogue either individually or collectively but one thing is clear that there is a line and if you cross it then the law will deal with you.”
The opposition has vowed not to recognise President Kenyatta’s re-election in the October 26 vote.
A section of opposition leaders are also pushing for secession of parts of the country and creation of the People’s Republic of Kenya.
In Parliament, Minority Leader John Mbadi was thrown out after stating the country had no president.
Some county assemblies have already passed the people’s assemblies motion to push for the opposition agenda.
But the President said: “Those who wish to operate outside the constitutional order will be dealt with firmly.”
He said Kenyans should respect the constitution in whatever they do.
President Kenyatta, who was accompanied by former Ghanaian President John Mahama, said he was open to dialogue with governors irrespective of their party affiliation.
“I extend hand of friendship and partnership to all,” President Kenyatta said, echoing Council of Governors Chairman Josphat Nanok’s call for national government and devolved units not to compete with each other but to collaborate.
He said: “Our people did not elect us to be divisive. They did not elect us to engage in politics. Ours is an executive role.
Ours is to deliver on our aspirations and on that I am opened to dialogue so that we can achieve those objectives.”
Listing the achievements of devolution, including first tarmac road in Wajir, the President vouched for unity and improvement of Kenyans lives.
“No Kenyan voted for disorder, disharmony or dispute in government,” he said.
The president pushed for resolution of disputes between counties and national government through dialogue instead of courts.
“Going to court should be last resort,” he said.
He was happy that the judiciary had returned some cases to be handled under alternative dispute resolution.
He named housing, food security, nutrition and creation of jobs through manufacturing as some of areas the national government is to partner with counties to ensure success.
Calling for the strengthening and deepening of devolution, President Kenyatta called for establishment of decentralised units to deal with youth especially on investment.
There should be further be fiscal decentralisation of programmes to be equitably accessed by public.