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County chiefs should learn to get their priorities right
By Dancun Sakwa | Updated Apr 26, 2016 at 08:08 EAT

It is quite unfortunate that devolution seems to be in a shambles thanks to the failures of some governors.

With the full functions bestowed on the county chiefs, it startles to learn that some of the governors have set aside millions of shillings to fund their campaigns for a second term in office.

With promises yet to be fulfilled, the health sector on its deathbed, corruption in an all time high levels, some leaders are only thinking of re-election and not the interests of voters.

Just a day ago, the media unearthed the frustrations citizens go through in some of the counties.

Worse still, nurses in some counties are on strike. These priorities spell doom when it comes to service delivery. It beats logic that some governors are planning how they will be victors while some Kenyans continue to suffer in hospital.

All along, county governments have been at loggerheads with the national government crying foul of the latter’s failure to disburse cash on time.

Devolved governments were meant to promote social and economic development and bring services closer to the people.

We have seen a significant improvement in service provision in some counties, but it is fair enough to say much needs to be done. The priority should be the welfare of Kenyans.

To be on the safer side, the devolved governments must learn to prioritise the interests of the electorate, rather than set aside large sums of money to facilitate their election plans.

The true essence of devolution would have lost meaning yet it was established to bring services to the doorsteps of citizenry.

Three years are long enough for transition, and if it was meant to be a period for governors to learn from mistakes then I believe they already have.

{Sakwa Dancun, Kakamega}

I was expecting the just concluded third annual devolution conference in Meru to showcase measurable strides on investments made by the governors.

The national government has allocated billions of shillings to the counties in the past three years. However, it is absurd for the counties to highlight such “victories” as provision of solutions to exam cheating (Kericho County), increase in patient population in Longisa Hospital (Bomet County) and free Wi-Fi. These so-called victories are not only ridiculous but demeaning to the intelligence of Kenyans.

Kenyans are now demanding forensic audit on all county administrative and fiscal management so that we can re-evaluate, by way of referendum, whether or not devolution is adding any value to the lives of ordinary citizens.

This needs to be done immediately before the next elections.

{Onesmus Maritim, Sotik}

 

It is sad that the just ended devolution conference in Meru was a show of political strength than the citizens’ goodwill.

Devolution’s key purpose is to channel resources and other important functions down to the common mwananchi and not centralise them at the national level.

Therefore, the devolution conference in this concept is a national event that should not be missed by the President and his deputy under normal circumstances.

Devolution conference is also an avenue which brings together both the national and county governments to purposefully improve services to people.

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