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National government withholding donor funds meant for counties: Governors

By Allan Mungai | Published Thu, December 7th 2017 at 00:00, Updated December 6th 2017 at 18:48 GMT +3
Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo and Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok during the sixth forum for constitutional commissions and independent offices in Nyeri yesterday. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

In summary

  • Many regions have been grappling with a shortage of funds, which has stalled key projects
  • Council of Governors chairman calls for a policy to guide flow of funds from national to county governments.

Governors have accused the national government of pocketing donor funds meant for counties.

Council of Governors Chairman Josphat Nanok has, therefore, called for a policy to guide the flow of grants and donor funds to the regional governments.

"A huge portion of donor funds meant to support various programmes in counties are being utilised by the national government at the expense of devolved units," said Nanok.

The Turkana governor spoke in Nyeri when he opened the sixth forum for constitutional commissions and independent offices yesterday.

He also warned against the national government's delay in disbursing funds to counties, which he said threatens devolution by stalling key projects.

Most counties have been grappling with a shortage of funds that has seen many key projects stall.

However, the signing into law of the County Allocation of Revenue Amendment Bill by President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday paves the way for Treasury to disburse funds to counties in a faster and more organised way.

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Nanok said a task force commissioned by the National and County Government Coordinating Summit to develop a formula on flow of cash has come up with a draft to guide the administration and reporting of donor funds but the report has yet to be adopted.

“A proper framework will mitigate conflicts when donor funds intended for counties are allocated toe ministries,” Nanok said.

The governor noted that counties are struggling to meet their obligations due to inadequate allocation of funds.

“Counties receive a meagre budget, yet they perform most of the service-based functions. For devolution to work best, the threshold of 15 per cent must go higher for counties to provide quality and affordable services,” he said.

Other than Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo, the forum was also attended by the chairpersons of various constitutional bodies and independent offices including Auditor-General Edward Ouko, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission's Eliud Wabukala, and Lydia Nzomo of the Teachers Service Commission.

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