Yatani denies links to Marsabit conflict - Beaking Kenya News

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Sunday, 14 February 2021

Yatani denies links to Marsabit conflict


Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has denied accusations that he has a hand in the incessant conflicts in Marsabit County.

Speaking to the Sunday Nation, the minister wondered why Governor Mohamud Ali had dragged his name into the conflict, claiming he was using his influence indirectly to destabilise the county yet the development funds that are allocated go directly to the devolved units.

“Ninety per cent of county development funds are held by counties.

The governor is trying to divert attention from his failures to me. The Treasury does not allocate projects but only finances ministries priorities,” said Mr Yatani.

A section of elders from the county had in a petition to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) blamed the Cabinet secretary for what they termed “skewed allocations of national resources where development projects worth billions of shilling have been diverted to North Horr Constituency while the other three constituencies were left out.”

“Is there any proof that I gave projects to North-Horr, in fact, none? The national government allocated close to Sh3 billion for roads in Sakuu Constituency this financial year, Marsabit town to Segel roads got Sh700 million. All within Sakuu. Why is no one complaining?” he posed.

Mr Yatani denied that he played any role in the creation of administrative units, “it was purely the work of Interior and presidency”.

The Cabinet secretary also wondered how one could compare a vast sub-county like North-Horr of 40,000 square kilometres to Sakuu, which is 1,000 square kilometres.

“The creation is purely to ease administrative services,” he said.

“Sakuu is a like a dot with a radius of less than 10km in either direction (from the centre) while for North Horr, the distance from one end to the other is over 800km. How do you argue that they should all be administered by one deputy county commissioner each.”

Mr Yatani also denied that a meeting NCIC called between Borana and Gabbra community representatives to kick-start resolution of the decades-old Marsabit conflict broke-up prematurely when Gabbra representatives walked out.

The representatives reportedly told the NCIC that they would resolve their issues at a different forum without delving into details.

“There was never time Gabbra community walked out of a peace meeting, in fact, it’s the other way round. The inter-faith groups and the NCIC know it,” he said.

The committee had been set up after the NCIC met Mr Yatani and Marsabit governor in Laikipia and inter-faith groups in Marsabit.

Last January, the minister distanced himself from a list of names indicating that he is behind the employment of dozens of individuals from his tribe to various government positions.

Mr Yatani said he read malice in the information circulating online at the time.

“The names are available for authentication from the Public Service Commission.

“Some of them are no longer working while others are interns. Others were working in government before I was appointed to the Cabinet,” said a statement sent from his office.

According to the list, the employed individuals are distributed among the Borana, Burji, Gabbra, Rendille, Wayu and Borana, which are some of the communities from the 14 tribes that make up Marsabit County. However, the Gabbra and Borana are the main protagonists in the county.

Mr Yatani is a Gabbra while Governor Ali comes from the Borana community.


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