President Uhuru Kenyatta has defended devolution and reiterated his administration’s commitment to ensuring that it succeeds.
The President said more than Sh1 trillion had been transferred to the devolved governments in the past four years to support development.
Uhuru said key functions initially offered by the national government had been devolved to the 47 counties.
“One of the monumental choices we have made as a people was to devolve the way we governed ourselves to ensure better service delivery. My administration is profoundly committed to this cause of including every Kenyan in decision-making,” Uhuru said yesterday in his Jamhuri Day address.
Uhuru spoke as Senate Deputy Speaker Kembi Gitura sponsored a Bill that seeks to strike Nairobi from the list of counties.
The Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill (No 2) 2016 proposes to reduce the number of counties to 46, which means Nairobi will no longer be a county.
It proposes that Nairobi should be placed under the national government and the President should appoint a Cabinet secretary to be in charge of the capital’s administration.
But Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said attempts to scrap the city county were a threat to devolution.
Speaking yesterday, Dr Kidero said through devolution, Nairobi and the country at large had seen tremendous growth.
“Nairobians are concerned about the suggestion as put in the Senate bill to remove Nairobi as a county and make it a parastatal under central government. All the national devolution gains stand to evaporate if that threat to transform the county into a parastatal materialises,” said Kidero.
Uhuru’s Jubilee Party has since disowned the Bill, saying it supports devolution and should not be associated with attempts to erode it.
Uhuru yesterday described the transition to devolution as a “success” but also noted the difficulties the country was facing in implementing the new form of governance. He said the transition to devolution had been a success.
“We embraced all aspects of devolution with a speed and commitment that has not been matched by any other country that has adopted devolution,” he said.