Why some devolved functions are yet to be transferred to county governments

Kenyans enacted a new Constitution in 2010 which established a system of devolved government forming 47 county governments.

This allowed the 47 county heads to oversee some of the functions that were previously managed by the national government, allowing citizens to access services at the county levels and be involved in governance.

However, over ten years later, some of the devolved functions are yet to be transferred to the county governments despite the Ministry of Devolution being fully functional.

According to former Transition Authority chairperson Kinuthia Wamwangi, the government failed to oversee the full transition, hence, some functions were still maintained in the ministries.

"By the time the transitional government left the government we had already unbundled all the functions. However, what happened is that we left a lot of government institutions in shock as they could not understand how they were going to lose all that power.

"In the process, because we did not stay back to enforce the government ministries, the institution kept those ministries and did not bother to transfer them," said Wamwangi.

Reiterating Wamwangi's remarks, Peter Wanyande, a Professor and a Political Scientist, said the delays in transition are caused by resistance from those in the National Government.

"When you devolve the system you lose some amount of control of some of the services provided by the government and people are against it," said Wanyande.

Their remarks come a month after President William Ruto, during the Devolution Conference in Eldoret on August 16, said that the national government has 60 days to transfer the remaining functions to the county governments.

The transition committee which is expected to work with other stakeholders including the Council of Governors and the Treasury, is also tasked with the duty to oversee the smooth running of the ministries once transferred to the counties.

Once the functions are transferred, the counties are expected to improve in terms of their performance as their revenue allocation will go up.