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Ensure accountability in governance

By Oscar Ochieng | September 29th 2015

In the recent past, there has been growing concern on how counties are misusing public funds.

For example, public funds were misappropriated in Elgeyo-Marakwet County where Sh5 million from tax payers was used to fund a foreign trip to Kintele stadium in Congo Brazzaville. It was alleged that the trip was to provide lessons on how to improve sports in the county in question.

Another case is Bungoma County where it was alleged that a wheelbarrow cost was Sh109,000. How can a mere wheelbarrow cost this much?

Millions of shillings meant for development projects are embezzled under the guise of acquiring best practices and facilities.

Poor management of public funds at the national and county governments has been attributed to, among other factors, lack of transparency and accountability, corruption, patronage, disregard to the rule of law and outright embezzlement.

To curb such malpractices, there is need to strengthen institutions such as anti-corruption agencies and commissions, controller of budget, and the office of the auditor general, the ombudsman and the Judiciary among others. These institutions, if accorded the necessary support and powers, it make public officers be accountable.

Accountability in public service delivery and in the management of public finance in the counties can be enhanced through citizen and/or civil society participation in the formulation of policies and development plans.

Ensuring accountability in devolved governance is critical if county governments are to achieve their respective visions and for Kenya to achieve the Vision 2030.


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