, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 19 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered government agencies to issue all Governors with diplomatic passports and special number plates for their official vehicles so as to facilitate them in their duties.
The Head of State who was speaking during the first National and County Coordinating Summit on Wednesday said Governors must be supported in every way possible to safeguard development at the County level.
He further issued a directive to all line ministries to immediately transfer national functions to the County governments so as to spearhead devolution.
“We have a common mandate given to us by the people and this mandate will not be achieved by talking at each other but by talking with each other,” said the President.
Former President Mwai Kibaki had dismissed the Governors’ demand for three vehicles with specially marked plates, diplomatic passports, eight body guards and a national flag.
The former President felt like the Governors were losing focus on the meaning of devolution and he even went ahead to remind them that Kenya was a unitary state.
“We should keep in mind that despite the devolution of power and resources, Kenya remains a single unitary State and is the Constitution,” he said in April.
And while Kenyatta also called for the immediate transfer of national functions, the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) and the Transition Authority has warned against transferring the functions before ensuring that Counties are able to carry them out.
The CIC issued an advisory cautioning against a rushed transfer because it would derail devolution and even lead to the suspension of County governments.
“In its monitoring role CIC is concerned and has expressed its concern to all relevant agencies on the hurried and sometimes adhoc manner in which the process is being carried out so far,” argued the CIC.
Deputy President William Ruto added that the Jubilee government would work with County governments and give them sufficient support to ensure that devolution kicked off.
He noted that this would safeguard the country’s economic growth within the next five years and ensure that the Jubilee government realised its pledge of growing the economy by double digits.
“We believe that the success of the elected leadership of the country is going to be achieved if the National and County governments succeed in the mandates given to them by the Constitution,” said Ruto.
Kenyatta also urged the Governors not give up on devolution even though the process might experience several hitches.
“The commitment to the process of devolution is both personal and constitutional. The two levels of government were a desire of the people of Kenya. We are supposed to complement one another in order to deliver,” he added.