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Mruta TavetaIt gives me great pleasure to address this consultative forum Organized by the Senate committee on Roads and Transport to interrogate the implementation of roads as a devolved function, this meeting couldn’t have been convened at a better time. Ladies and Gentlemen,
Indeed there are several challenges towards the implementation of roads as a devolved function from failure to transfer the roads, lack of funds to construct and maintain the roads, to delays in transfer to counties MTF equipment.
It is important for us to give an account of the activities that have surrounded the issues of Transfer of roads, for all of us to appreciate them; Roads as a devolved function
1. The Constitution under Part 2 of the Fourth Schedule assigns to County Governments ‘county transport, including; county roads, street lighting, traffic and parking and public road transport’ as well as the public works function. However it has been three years now since the County Governments were inaugurated yet the roads function has not been devolved. 2. The devolution of roads function has been met with several obstacles from the initial time when the Transition Authority, vide Legal Notice No. 137 of 9th August, 2013 transferred county roads (class D, E, and unclassified) to Counties save for those managed by Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Kenya Forest Service (KFS). 3. Counties appealed to the Senate for the complete transfer of County roads. The Senate, in its report having heard the appeals from counties, noted that the Transition Authority (TA) had no objection in transferring the management of these roads and was in the process of developing modalities for the transfer of the same. The Senate report acknowledged that TA would ensure the county roads managed by KURA and KERRA were transferred as soon as possible and in any case well before the expiry of the statutory transition period. 4. The National Government and its agencies continued to construct and perform maintenance and repair works on County roads. Additionally, the National Government agencies continued to receive levies on outdoor advertising which is a County function. 5. The Council of Governors instituted in the High Court a suit against Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) and the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA). In its judgement, and recognizing that County roads had already been constitutionally assigned to County Governments, the High Court ordered the immediate transfer of County roads. The court further prohibited the advertisement of tenders with respect to County roads and County outdoor advertising.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, the Council of Governors notes with concern in spite of the High Court judgment that declared the immediate transfer of County roads to Counties. The Transition Authority went ahead to submit for gazettement roads in a manner that transfers county roads to the National government by re classifying them. This was in spite of consultations with the CoG which made it clear that roads be transferred according to Senate Recommendation.

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