Wednesday, 09 August 2023 04:54

GOVERNORS DECRY ENCROACHMENT ON DEVOLVED FUNCTIONS AMIDST FULL COUNCIL MEETING

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Governors want the National Government to desist from encroaching on devolved functions and instead, work in collaboration with all stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of devolution in Kenya.

Speaking during a full Council meeting held on 31st July 2023 at the CoG offices, Council of Governors (CoG) Chair H.E Anne Waiguru singled out markets, housing and lighting, water and provision of fertilizer and seeds as some of the proposed projects the National Government is undertaking in total disregard of County functions as stipulated in the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution.

“The Markets Development Program should be implemented by the respective County Governments through the conditional grants framework,” Waiguru said, calling for the immediate suspension of the advertisement and rollout of the markets development project in the Counties, until consensus is reached on the modalities of its implementation.

The Governors hailed the courts for protecting devolution, lauding the declaration which termed the establishment of the Kenya Tissue and Transplant Authority via Legal Notice No 142 of 2022 illegal.

“The court’s decision is a great win for devolution and for the health sector. We further call upon the Senate to initiate amendments to the State Corporations Act, 2010 to ensure that it aligns to the devolved system of governance,” noted the Chair, CoG Health Committee H.E Muthomi Njuki.

The Council of Governors agreed to reconsider its engagement with the Ministries responsible for Health, Agriculture, Water, Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development, if the continued infringement of devolved functions continues.

The devolved system of governance is anchored on legislation. H.E Mutula Kilonzo Junior, Chair, CoG Legal Committee on his part noted that the State Department of Devolution had reviewed the County Government Act, 2012 without the involvement of County Governments, a move that would significantly impact service delivery in the devolved units.

“However, efforts to review the Act are a step in the right direction and we urge the State Department to immediately put in place a multiagency taskforce to comprehensively review the County Governments Act, 2012 to address all the issues that have emerged in the course of the implementation of the Act,” he added.

The devolution journey has had its challenges but has also recorded great strides in service delivery. County Governments have achieved remarkable milestones in various sectors over

the last decade. These will be celebrated at the Devolution Conference 2023 that will be held in Uasin Gishu County, Eldoret Sports Club from 15th to 19th August 2023.

Governor Waiguru highlighted that there would be pre-conference activities such as athletics and football which would provide an opportunity to meet and interact with the members of the public ahead of the conference, adding that the County Governments have so far grown 7.3 million trees in a bid to support the efforts of climate action.

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