Amason Kingi says counties to incur high expenditure if more functions are devolved

Senate Speaker Amason Kingi in a meeting with Danish Ambassador to Kenya, Ole Thonke. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Senate Speaker Amason Kingi has said that county governments may be forced to spend more if some functions still being performed by the national government are devolved.

Mr Kingi announced that devolved units are only waiting for the costing of the items since the Intergovernmental Relations Committee had already identified some of the functions.

The Speaker who hosted

revealed that there were plans to ensure that the functions are devolved to the counties in the next six months and that the costing needs to be done so that they are in a position to manage them.

“Even as there are plans to move more functions to the counties there should be more funds allocated to ensure that county governments do not strain in handling new responsibilities so that they do not become a burden and fail to deliver the intended purpose,” he said.

The Speaker noted that the biggest challenge faced by ward representatives is lack of capacity building to perform their responsibilities effectively.

Senate Speaker Amason Kingi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The former Kilifi governor regretted that most county administrations had financial challenges that affect service delivery with most of funds going towards paying salaries and a huge percentage on recurrent expenditure while a lot of money remains with the national government.

Kingi said that impeachment of governors in the past has been politically motivated with most of them failing in county assemblies. He warned that nobody should be hounded out office because of flimsy reasons such as failing to award tenders and give bribes to some leaders.

“We are determined to make it a tough to impeach a governor who has been elected by the people due to selfish interests of some few individuals, this process has been abused in the past and we are not going to allow it to be misused in future,” he said.

The Speaker said that it was important for MCAs to understand their roles of legislation and oversight and learn to practice them instead of being misused by some leaders to advance their selfish interests.

Kingi maintained that it was important for county governments and MCAs to work together because it has been established that in counties where the two arms are in conflict development programmes are likely to be affected.

Danish Ambassador to Kenya, Ole Thonke. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Thonke called on the national and county governments to work together to develop the country and make devolution work.

The envoy expressed concern over the sustainability of health funding since Denmark had reduced its grant to the country.

“We would like to assure county governments that we are going to support them in various health programmes but they also need to allocate more funds to the sector so as to ensure that members of the public get services closer to them,” said Thonke.