The Constitution has put in place the system of devolved government, which calls for equal distribution of resources among the 47 counties. It also aims to bring power close to people. According to this new system, each county will be responsible in running its affairs. The county governments shall raise own revenue and will further receive a share of revenue raised nationally.
Counties have power to raise revenue through property rates, entertainment taxes, charges for services, any other authorised tax imposed by an Act of Parliament.
From the national government, counties will get at least 15 per cent share of the annual national revenue.
A county government may borrow funds with the approval of its assembly and a guarantee from the national government, in this sense, it would be important for each county to ensure they consider all the resources available to raise funds, creativity and being innovative will help much in improving developments with the counties.
A recent survey showed counties differ in their poverty index. Kajiado was ranked the richest while Turkana was the poorest county.
In Kajiado, 12 per cent of the residents live with poverty as opposed to the case in Turkana where 94 per cent live under abject poverty. The variation was attributed to different socio-economic factors.
What are the social, economic and political implications of this report? In as much we try to celebrate the birth of devolution, let us also think of how we will help curb challenges that we are likely to face including poverty, poor infrastructure, insecurity, drought, famine and diseases. This will be possible if we first accept our differences. Furthermore, it will require us to adore ourselves with appropriate, effective and sustainable skills and approaches to address the impending challenges.
The new structure would include county assemblies, executive committees and public service. Leaders in these positions will help co-ordinate and oversee how the work is done. Thus, electing competent, credible and transparent leaders will create positive impact on us — the type of leaders we will elect will determine general living standard, shape the economic growth and level of education.
We have to note there is competition among counties, and we are doomed to have a retarded growth should we peg our hope on other counties. This, however, does not imply we should not share what we have with other counties, indeed, this is the time to embrace ethnic, and tribal cohesion among us to enhance easy exchange of scarce resources.
Granted, some counties are more privileged than others. Some are enjoying good infrastructural facilities while others have to content with insecurity, food and water shortage and many basic amenities. This, however, should not be a source of frustration for residents because the pathetic situation can be improved.