, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has emphasised the need for all county governments to work together with the central government for devolution to succeed.
Speaking during a meeting with all 47 governors at State House Nairobi on Thursday, the President urged the county heads to focus on what would benefit all Kenyans and cease on trivialities.
His sentiments follow discussions with the leaders who were concerned that the national government was not empowering county governments and this was hampering development efforts.
“Given the fact that we are now totally committed, please let us work together so that we ensure we deliver to the people of this Republic. Let the public see that these elected leaders who we have given mandate at two distinct levels of government are actually working together in the best interests of the people of Kenya,” said Kenyatta.
The governors have been at loggerheads with the central government while demanding more funds, flags, better offices and extra bodyguards.
“We need to ensure that we are able to deal with the teething problems because there will always be these problems. We are all doing this for the first time and there are bound to be hiccups but we should not interpret them as an attempt to derail but rather genuine things that happen when you start and you need to refine as you go on,” he said.
In the governors’ induction conference that took place last week, the leaders vowed to fight efforts to frustrate devolution by the national government.
The elected county leaders formed an 11-member committee to iron out differences with the Executive and they were also expected to meet the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
The governors said they would not be cowed by the national government, which they accused of standing on the way of devolution of resources and functions to the counties.
They also agreed that county assemblies would have their first sitting on the same day across the country after April 18, paving way for the formation of a devolved government structure.
The governors liaison committee would handle devolution of functions from ministries to the county governments, putting then at crossroads with the Transition Authority that they accused of not representing them well.
The ad hoc committee was assembled at Naivasha where rivalries between the national government and the governors openly played out.
The governors are expected to elect the council of governors’ chairman with opinions pointing to Nairobi governor Evans Kidero as the most probable option.
The council is expected to be a lobby to look at their interests including their welfare and remuneration.