County bosses seek to fight graft, address sharing of revenue and implementation of Big Four Agenda

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru recieves Deputy president Dr.William Samoei Ruto Yesterday at Kutus Primary School grounds at closure of Devolution Conference.on left is CoG chairperson Wycliffe oparanya and right makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana.Waiguru said the Conference was very successful and met its objective. [Picture Moses Sammy]
The just ended governors’ annual conference churned out 23 resolutions, some which mirrored last year’s conference decisions.

In both events, the governors identified the fight against graft, sharing of revenue and the Big Four Agenda as their main issues. However, meeting the timelines in implementation of the same by respective State agencies remains a challenge.

For every resolution, the relevant bodies were tasked to ensure its realisation within the agreed period starting with both levels of government developing a policy and legal framework for harmonisation of revenue collection within one year.

This commitment remains a litmus test to give the annual meeting a true meaning and ensure it makes devolved units better.

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Legal inconsistencies

In last year’s meeting in Kakamega, the governors resolved through a joint statement with senators, Ministry of Devolution and county assemblies to address the legal inconsistencies, policies and guidelines for delivering Universal Healthcare Coverage, among others.

Almost a year on, the issues are yet to be acted upon.

The 2018 conference themed “Sustainable, productive and efficient governments for results delivery” was to guide the national and county governments in delivering the Big Four Agenda.

“Annually, both levels of government shall publish and publicise the implementation scorecard of the Big Four Agenda initiatives, including information on public finance management,” reads the resolution signed by Council of Governors (CoG), Senate and County Assemblies Forum and Ministry of Devolution.

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Kakamega Governor and CoG chair Wycliffe Oparanya argued that the Big Four Agenda is domiciled in the counties and therefore they should be properly resourced.

“The Ministry of Health budget, for instance, continues to go up, now at Sh92 billion yet counties are the ones handling the bulk of the functions,” he said.

The government and governors agreed in 2018 to jointly address the emerging human resources challenges in the Big Four sectors within six months, but this is yet to happen even as over 2,000 nurses went on strike.

“We are going to review the progress of the past meeting. We will take stock of what has been achieved,” said Governor Ann Waiguru, who hosted this year’s event at Kirinyaga University.

In the Thursday communique, the meeting resolved that the Penal Code and the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, among other laws, shall in the next one year be amended in order to strengthen enforcement and enhance collaboration and coordination of all agencies in the war against corruption.

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Governors also resolved that Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shall enhance collaboration to produce data and statistics and Parliament shall, in six months, fast-track the County Statistics Bill.

And the constitutional commissions and independent offices shall ensure provisions on financial management procedures are enforced.

The governors want revenue share pegged on the most recent audited accounts approved by National Assembly. They also resolved that county governments shall, in the next one year, establish county service delivery units to monitor development projects.

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DevolutionGorvernorsbig four agenda