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Supremacy wars hurting counties, says CRA chairman Micah Cheserem

POLITICS
By Geoffrey Mosoku | November 12th 2014

The Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) has once again raised the red flag over the seemingly endless wrangles and supremacy wars between agencies handling devolved units.

CRA expressed concerned about the ongoing contests between various institutions and agencies directly handling devolution matters.

The commission identified three key wars; one pitting the national government against county governments, another pitting Senate against county governments and the third between the National Assembly and Senate as some of the challenges facing devolution.

At county level, CRA said the contest between the county executives and assemblies was threatening to paralyse service delivery.

CRA chairman Micah Cheserem said it was unfortunate that the wrangles were intensifying, citing Monday's ultimatum by the Senate to President Uhuru Kenyatta not to sign the Mining Bill 2014.

PLAYING POLITICS

"It's so sad that the President must be given an ultimatum not to sign the Mining Bill. There is something dysfunctional in Kenya. Someone somewhere is playing politics. Something is going terribly wrong," Mr Cheserem said.

The CRA boss said constitutional bodies such as the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution and the Attorney General's office should advise on bills that affect counties to avoid stand-offs.

Speaking at Sarova Stanley Hotel yesterday when he released the commission's revenue allocation formula, Cheserem further cited the ongoing wrangles in Makueni County that have paralysed service delivery.

"The government of Makueni has been paralysed completely. As a commission we have tried to intervene to resolve the impasse and met with both the governor and Speaker of the county assembly to no avail," he said.

The CRA chair regretted that county assemblies had resorted to blackmailing governors and members of the county executive who appeared helpless in the face of constant threats of impeachment.

SUCCESS STORIES

He said most governors and finance county executives were always on their toes over threats of impeachment and thus could not perform their duties as they should.

But the commission said there were several success stories in the counties that had been overshadowed by negative news.

"Counties have been able to purchase more ambulances in the last 18 months compared to the number acquired through the centralised government in 50 years," he said.

He said the counties had also been able to bring services closer to the people through building more hospitals.

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