, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 18 – Governors and Senators allied to the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy on Saturday vowed to push ahead with their campaign to raise the allocation to counties to 45 percent of the national budget.
Speaking after a strategy meeting chaired by CORD principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula, the County leaders said devolution is aimed at empowering county governments with finances so that they were strong enough to serve the people well.
“CORD resolves that requisite resources should be allocated to the county government in line with the Constitution, in this regard institutions that were previously expecting functions (which are now within the ambit of the County Governments should now surrender those functions to the counties, to facilitate this CORD demands the enhancements of the county revenue thresholds allocated to county governments to a minimum of 45 percent,” said Marsabit Governor while briefing the media on the meeting’s resolution.
A similar push by the Senators and Governors fizzled out late last year after County leaders from the Jubilee Coalition abandoned the campaign arguing that it would take a long time to materialise.
He said their demands for an increase in county cash allocation did not require a referendum since the national government had provided more than the 15 percent minimum share stipulated in the Constitution without a referendum. The current allocation to the counties is 32 percent of the national budget.
The governors had been tasked with a campaign to collect one million signatures to support their referendum proposal.
They also want to strengthen the role of the Senate, devolution of bursaries, construction of roads and primary and secondary schools in the counties.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto have opposed the referendum saying governors should first use the funds allocated to them before asking for more.
Senators were tasked with forming a committee of CORD senators which will be charged originating appropriate bills and also interrogate all bills brought to the Senate with a view of ensuring those bills effectively protect devolution and safeguard the interests of the counties.
At the same time, the meeting has called for the operationalization of the County Policing Authority to address the rising insecurity in the country.
The leaders noted that insecurity in the country can be better managed at the county levels.
The functions of the Authority include developing proposal on priorities, objectives and targets for police performance in the county; monitor trends and patterns of crime in the county; promote community policing initiatives in the County; monitor progress and achievements of set target as well as provide financial oversight of the budget of the county police;
The Authority which is chaired by the Governor will further provide feedback on performance of the police service at the county level; provide a platform through which the public can participate on all aspects to do with county policing and the national police service at county level; facilitate public participation on the county policing policy; ensure policing accountability to the public; receive reports from community policing forums and committees; and ensure compliance with the national policing standards
CORD also threw its weight behind Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero who is facing a court case and demanded a thorough investigation into the recent attack on Bungoma Senator Elect Moses Wetangula’s vehicle.