NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 22 – The Transition Authority (TA) has identified 14 key areas that are now ready to be taken up by the county governments as devolution structures begin to take shape.
TA Chairman Kinuthia Wamwangi said on Monday that the functions to be devolved from the national government are ready for transfer to county governments and it will be important for the County Assembly members to begin initiating processes to facilitate the shift.
Some of the key areas include agriculture, health, transport, trade development, county planning, fire fighting and disaster management and control of drugs.
Others are culture, animal control, pre-primary education, public works, the implementation of specific national government policies on natural resources and the environment and ensuring as well as coordinating the participation of communities in governance.
Wamwangi urged county governments to ensure that they get qualified officers to discharge these services.
“If you take up a function that you cannot perform because you do not have the capacity, then there is a danger. You would rather leave it with the national government and when you are ready you take it up,” he cautioned.
He also said that the second phase of devolution was fully underway explaining that the first phase was completed by March 5 as required in the law.
Wamwangi, who was speaking at a meeting with women legislators, further discounted claims that the authority would take more than the stipulated three years to complete its task saying that his body would not ask for any extensions.
“My authority is only going to be in existence for three years. We took up this job from no one and no one will take it up from us. We expire together with our act but we are ready to finish up our work,” he stressed.
County and national governments have been engaged in a power tussle with claims of attempts to derail devolution. While county governments insist on controlling all the functions of the counties, the national government is bent on maintaining part of its structures in the counties.
The national government has set up County Commissioners, District Commissioners and even Chiefs and their assistants. County governments however maintain that these positions have no place in devolution.
The matter is however in court after the Law Society of Kenya sought to have the impasse resolved.
Wamwangi also challenged the women leaders to come up with laws that would empower fellow women as well as enhance their welfare.
“Women representatives have the critical role of both articulating the women experience and ensuring that specific gender based aspects of the Constitution are implemented,” he said.