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Government keen on realising devolution, says Devolution and Planning CS Anne Waiguru

By Lonah Kibet | April 14th 2015

Nairobi, Kenya: The national government has reiterated its commitment to support successful implementation of devolution.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru said nearly all the functions under the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution had been transferred, way ahead of the three-year deadline envisaged in the Constitution.

Ms Waiguru added that the Government is in the course of developing and reviewing policies on devolution to accommodate emerging issues in the implementation process.

She said a monitoring and evaluation framework for devolution to fast track the realisation of results has been put in place.

Some of the functions already practical in the counties include health, agriculture and county roads.

Council of Governors Vice Chairman Salim Mvurya, however, downplayed what already has been devolved and said more needs to be done in capacity building initiatives.

"We cannot comfortablly say we have reached a level where all capacities have been enhanced, but this is work in progress," he said.

He said the council will raise some of the issues and challenges they have been facing in the implementation phase with the Government, and find ways to address the barriers.

"Devolution is a constant factor that must be implemented. When faced with these challenges, we should not give up but look at ways to overcome them," he pointed out.

The two were speaking yesterday during a Council of County Executives Conference in Nairobi where Waiguru said time has come for the reaffirmation of the constitutional values and principles of governance, and to measure them against the successes and challenges in operationalising county governments.

"How do county governments measure up against the expectations of Kenyans in terms of responsive and accountable leadership, better service delivery, higher standards of living and stronger and more cohesive local communities?" she posed.

She added: "This conference is an opportune moment for self-reflection and introspection. And the process of self-reflection provides an impetus for improvement and positive change."

The council was also told that Kenya Power is working on projects to map out the extent of electrification in the counties.

Kenya Power Chief Executive Ben Chumo said the company was looking for ways to provide optimal power in a bid to attract investors.

The meeting precedes the main event, the second devolution conference, scheduled for April 22 to 24 in Kisumu.

The conference will attract some 6,000 delegates drawn from the 47 counties.

The event is organised by the Council of Governors in partnership with the Ministry of Devolution and Planning.

It is themed "Appreciating and Strengthening Devolved Governance; Working Together to Realise the Objectives of Devolution."

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