10 counties blast off, 37 struggle
3 months ago, 3 Jan 00:43
A story has been told in Kenya by our political elites in major public rallies of how Kenya and Singapore are age mates in development given the time the two states gained their independence in the 60s. The political class has even moved the story forward by comparing the prospects of the first moving industrial Asian state of South Korea to Kenya-history however documents that that South Korea gained independence in 1949. Today I want to bring the story closer home-in April 2013 all our 47 counties started on the same footing under our new constitution when the first devolution cash was disbursed to the 47 counties and several functions devolved to the peripheral governments with powers to initiate tangible developments in the regions. The exciting moment captured the new era which saw the national government disburse up to Sh1.1 trillion to the regions something quite unprecedented. Five years after devolution was launched in our country some counties have paced up the ladder on their way to economic independence and the beginning of true economic liberty while others have zigzagged their way to doom and national shame as they confine their constituents to eternal economic incarceration. The majority of the county governments have nothing to show for the massive resources disbursed to fund several functions put under the county governments by our constitution. By 2023, Kenyans will be celebrating 10 years of devolution The pace of take off by counties that have gotten it right I dare say will see them give relief support to counties that have taken too long to settle and those that are bogged down by massive corruption and lack of transparency in the management of devolution funds. In 2013, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission circulated a placard borrowed from Nigeria, which has experience in devolution. The placard had the photograph of one of the governors in Nigeria handcuffed after being arrested on claims of abuse of office and financial infidelity. It is interesting that soon after devolution took off in Kenya and the photograph circulated to all governors the EACC abandoned the war on corruption in the regions! While millions of Kenyans in the countryside might not have seen the value of the devolved resources it must be understood that looking out there devolution is not all a curse but also a blessing. It is interesting how about 10 counties have taken off while the remaining 37 are struggling. The other day I overheard Kisumu Governor Prof Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o in a radio conversation saying his county had sent a bench making team to Makueni to study how the county set up a successful village administration unit. Prof Nyong’o said county governments have been advised to compare notes with Makueni following the initiation of a proper village administration system through clear and strong legislative framework. From the construction of good roads, Emali bus station, several technical colleges, enactment of legislations to improve service delivery in the county, to the recent launch of universal medical cover ...
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