Waiguru asks Constitutional Commissions and Independent Offices to protect devolution

Council of Governors (COG) chair Anne Waiguru has called on Constitutional and Independent Offices to protect devolution in all aspects of discharging their constitutional functions.

Waiguru said that it is unfortunate that a decade into devolution, some of the Constitutional Commissions and Independent Offices (CCIOs) have not embraced the principle of the devolved governments.

Speaking during the start of a three day retreat of the executive and the CCIOs in Naivasha, Waiguru said that for devolution to succeed, all state and public officers must wholeheartedly reconsider their approach towards the devolved units.

It is, however, concerning that some of the have not fully embraced the vital principle of devolution which is a cornerstone of our national values and principles of governance, binding all State organs to its objectives,” Waiguru pointed out.

The Chair noted that despite being entrenched in the constitution, County Governments continue to grapple with many avoidable challenges that hinders effective service delivery.

She said the retreat must call for a paradigm shift on how some of the CCIOs treat and view county government while discharging their functions so as to ensure that all citizens experience the benefits of devolution.

The Kirinyaga Governor said some of the entrenched issues that the devolved units are still grappling with include continued efforts by national government to claw back on devolved functions, strikes by health workers, disputes over division of revenue, revenue collection shortfalls and financial management.

Waiguru said ongoing disagreements surrounding the equitable sharing of revenue between the National and County Governments create delays and uncertainty in budget implementation.

The COG chair noted that persistent industrial actions by health sector has not only disrupted the delivery of crucial services but also continues to erode public trust in the ability of county governments to address their needs effectively.

Also, the management of the wage bill is a major concern in the counties,” the Governor added.

She said failure by county governments to meet their own source revenue targets, have compromised fiscal autonomy of the 47 units because they are heavily reliant on equitable share allocations from the National Government.

Promotion of sustainable intergovernmental relations between the two levels of government while respecting the functional, institutional integrity and the constitutional status of the either level is at the center of our governance. I urge the Constitutional Commissions and Independent Offices support the two levels of government in achieving this,” the Governor said.  

The governor called on the Constitutional and Independent Offices to engage counties in open dialogue and collaboration so as to identify practical solutions to challenges facing devolution for the benefit of all Kenyans.

The meeting was attended by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Chief Justice Martha Koome, Speaker of National assembly Moses Wetangula, EGH, Speaker of the National Assembly, Attorney General Justin Muturi, Cabinet Secretaries Margaret Nyakang’o, (Controller of Budget), Nancy Gathungu(Auditor-General) Chairpersons, Vice Chairpersons and Commissioners of Constitutional Commissions, Director of Public Prosecutions, Principal Secretaries Present and Chief Executive Officers of CCIOs among others.

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