Uhuru: Why I delegated duties to County Commissioners

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BY UHURU KENYATTA

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

The constitution reminds us that the authority assigned a public officer is a public trust. Public authority is not a personal possession; it is a grant of power, regulated by law, to serve the best interests of Kenyans. Always, it must be exercised in conformity with the constitutional values we chose for ourselves: equity and efficiency, accountability and impartiality.

We must do better when it comes to relations between the two levels of government. The confusion and confrontation we see wastes time and resources better spent elsewhere. We have not achieved the efficient public integration between national and local government that our constitution demands.

That is why I directed the national administration to take up the functions of national government at the county level. County commissioners, as key representatives of my office, will coordinate all national government functions at the county level. The arrangement mirrors the management of the public service at the national level.

That is not to say that I have not ceded control at the centre. I have delegated the functions for efficient, reliable and better service delivery. We have a mandate to serve the public in a way that respects the resources available to us. The move I took yesterday is about filling the service delivery gap.

What we have done is no different from what the county-level governments have been doing. Governors have felt that they needed county administrators in their areas to deliver the services which national government is mandated to provide. Consequently, it would be hypocritical to claim that the national government does not need administrators to ensure that its functions at the grassroots are properly carried out. We are not fighting for control, we are not pre-occupied with control. Neither should others be. We should all be concerned with the priorities as outlined by the constitution.

SECURITY

Earlier this week, some of our foreign partners issued travel advisories. These only cover specific parts of the country, not the whole of it. Nonetheless, they give a misleading picture of our security situation, and they run the risk of inadvertently damaging our security. The misunderstanding and risk could have been avoided if the governments concerned had consulted more closely with us.

The fact of the matter is that the measures we introduced have begun to make a difference.

First, the security operation that we begun over a month ago will continue, as we look to isolate the extremists and those who aid them.
The operation has already removed thousands of illegal immigrants, and severely disrupted the networks of information and money which support radicalisation and violence.

Second, my government has entered a five-year contract with Safaricom to provide communications and surveillance equipment for our disciplined services. In time, the new security system will be in constant communication with the national command centre that has already been set up. There will be a continuous interaction and exchange of data between the command centre and our men and women on the ground.

The agreement with Safaricom also allows us to deploy around 2,000 CCTV cameras in locations around Nairobi and Mombasa – the two towns which have been hardest hit by the terrorists.

As before, we continue to raise the numbers of security personnel. In the last two months, about 7700 new recruits have graduated into the various branches of our national police service. This is in line with the commitment we made earlier. Kenyans can expect to see at least ten thousand new officers a year for the next four years.

Let me also pause to rebut an unfortunate report that has recently appeared in the news. It was argued, in some of the dailies, that the Anti-Terorrist Police Unit had received only 28 million shillings in this year’s budget. This is a deep misunderstanding of the nature of security funding. First, the 28 million shillings covers the office operations of the unit. Second, the overall security budget provides for equipment and information that are shared across services, for the sake of economy. For example, our surveillance aircraft are available to the ATPU, as well as to other security services.

The report badly misidentifies the resources available to the ATPU; the mistake could have been avoided by simply consulting the relevant authorities for explanation.

(This statement was issued on May 16, 2014 at State House Nairobi.)

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  • james

    Excellent my president. This may be too much for CORD, wiper and ODM which have continued to give us personality cults, with no delegation of real powers, where even stepping down to let the young lead is a problem.

  • njogu mwai

    Mr. President, all factors considered, your presidency has gone through a lot of challenges most of them beyond your control. Most of them are manufactured by your opponents [ who have no credibility] and some are due to the new constitution which has created a lot of government and other institutions which are a hindrance to good governance. All in all you have succeeded in some areas where no other former president had ever dreamt of. In foreign affairs , your excellent and almost magical approach have brought the so called western world to their knees. You have single handedly[ with your deputy] brought cohesion to African leaders never dreamt by any leader. Economically ,you are on the right track. As for security, you need to do more and make it your priority.
    Mr. President, as you must be very much aware, you can do everything for the citizenry, even go about giving out free goodies and cash and even free cellphones[like Obama] but yet, like the biblical children of Israel on their exodus to canaan, kept on complaining despite that they were given free maana. Your opponents will find every reason to distract you to keep relevant. They will yell at the top of their lungs about the disbandment of IEBC and yet they cannot conduct their party elections.
    Mr. President, everything you do is viewed from political perspective, and as you already know it better than me, you have to always win hearts and minds of the ordinary “wanjiku”. Since the media is against you, you must go and talk directly to the folks and give them hope and explain all what you are doing for them . Please ” talk as you perform”. I happen to lie in US and Obama is considered to be one of the worst president only next to Jimmy carter. He has polarized the whole country and have presided over one of the worst economic growth since the great depression, on international scene, America is a pale shadow of it’s former self. Almost half the population does not pay income tax and is on some form of government welfare, the debt is more than 17 trillion dollars and yet he was re-elected.
    The main reason is because he knows how to relate with the masses . He is always politicking telling the masses that their main enemy is the republicans. He names names even the media like Fox news which is conservative leaning channel. But he is lucky because unlike you most of the American media being liberal, have drank his Kool-Aid.
    Mr. President, the media is against you but you are lucky because the opposition is in I.C.U. Please get out of statehouse and go to the folks. Call your detractors by name, name the media which is misleading the folks. Politics is not a game for gentlemen. It is a bare knuckle game. It is a street fight where even knives and kitchen sinks are weapons of choice. If your opponents can rig themselves in broad daylight , infront of television cameras and the so called western world [self appointed custodians of democracy], WHAT MORE CAN’T THEY DO?

    • Xuande

      ” Most of them are manufactured by your opponents..” okay. Cool. Please direct me to references and evidence. Who did the research? Show me the documents that back up your claims

  • Qwani

    Your Excellency, delegating to the county commissioners was the right move. The national government must rely on its own structures to fulfill its mandate, it cannot rely on that of the counties.

  • Mike

    Throwing money at everything is no solution. The security problem we are having was caused by Kibaki through playing around with security and defence contracts and hiring the worst and most incompetent non-professionals to head the police. Ali was from the military, Itere carried a club and wore a red beret all his life and Kimaiyo sat outside banks. You Mr. Uhuru do not realise this and you have kept Kimaiyo and offered him superb assistance in the name of Ole Lenku. How many people do you want to see dead to prove to you that these two have no idea what they are doing? Wasn’t Westgate the best opportunity to sack them really really hard? Why does Kimaiyo make unconstitutional directives and there is no censure from your office? Why is the police always ranked as the most corrupt institution the last 12 years and there is no action from your office? Have you ever visited any part of Kenya north of Kitale to see the number of people packing heat? Heck, are you even able to visit your neighbours in Kibera without worry? The security problem is a people problem and no matter how much money you throw at it, the fact of the matter is that you and the people under you are not committed to securing this country.

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