Hopes that rode on the actualisation of devolution in 2013 are almost dashed. At the time, expectation was high that counties would offer solutions to the many problems dogging Kenyans, yet could not get succour because the seat of all government departments was in Nairobi.
Indeed, devolution took off with a lot of promise despite teething problems the nascent governance structure faced. Sadly, a few years down the line, ills that have perennially bedeviled the national government have found a footing within counties. The resultant corruption has affected service delivery.
There is hue and cry as development projects suffer at the altar of recurrent expenditure, which gobbles up most of the financial resources allocated counties. Ideally, development should take the lion’s share of county finances, yet a wage bill that has shot up by Sh12 billion in just nine months won’t allow that.
Evidently, most counties support bloated workforce as a result of the political pitfall of rewarding cronies or, attempting some form of balance to keep individual MCAs happy and to foster a feeling of inclusivity. When a county spends 65 per cent of its budget on salaries and allowances, there is a big problem.
That's why counties must bite the bullet and cut down their bloated workforce. As it stands, most counties have a serious revenue collection challenge and rely almost entirely on the national Treasury to fund their budgets. It is wrong to pump the bulk of that money into workers' pockets instead of projects.
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