High-level Legal, constitutional affairs, and intergovernmental relations committee as well as county Attorneys from the 47 counties on Friday kicked off a two-day retreat in Meru town to reflect on the devolution agenda which includes its achievements and challenges.
The event was graced by Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka who expressed his commitment as well as that of the house he leads in ensuring devolution was a success.
Mr Lusaka encouraged the county attorneys to continue with their role of protecting devolution which includes advising respective governors on legal matters so as to avoid wasting resources on unnecessary litigations.
“We are holding our positions in various capacities in order to ensure the agenda of devolution becomes a success. We must therefore work hard knowing that history will judge us harshly if devolution will not work to the advantage of the people of Kenya,” Mr Lusaka said.
The speaker said the senate has tried to create a good working relationship with governors unlike in the past when it seemed to be like a court being feared by all county chiefs.
He called on the senators to push for more resources and timely delivery to the county governments to ensure that devolution is not paralysed.
He told the senators that oversight being one of their roles should not overtake their role of ensuring the counties get enough financial resources and on time.
He assured Governors that the Sh42 billion conditional grant for the county will be disbursed to the county treasuries to help the governors complete the unfinished projects before the August general election.
He also advised the county attorneys to explore other forms of dispute resolution other than going to court since court cases have left counties spending a lot of money that could be used for development.
Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi who is the Chair of the legal and constitutional affairs committee in the Council of Governors decried the delay in disbursement of finances to the counties by the national treasury.
He said the counties are yet to receive their allocation for the months of January and February adding that financial problems take 60 percent of all the problems that face devolution.
He further encouraged the counties to be independent by exploiting other sources of revenue for development other than the national government’s 15 percent share.
Meru County Governor the COG legal and constitutional affairs chairman Kiraitu Murungi addressing the county attorneys.
Kiraitu further called on all presidential candidates to make devolution a center of their campaign talks for it is through devolution that the furthest part of Kenya will be developed.
He urged his fellow governors to only support presidential candidates who will assure them of pushing the agenda of the 35 percent of national revenue for the counties.
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