, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 18 – Deputy President William Ruto says Governors “should think outside the box” especially in ensuring that devolution succeeds by finding ways of generating income and not relying solely on support from the central government.
Speaking on Tuesday’s ‘Capital In The Morning’ radio show, Ruto stressed the need for county chiefs to take charge and exhibit leadership qualities which he says are crucial if devolution is to succeed.
His sentiments came amid a clamour by governors for more allocations to cater for devolved functions.
“Governors must wake up to the reality that they are leaders. They must stop being cry babies. They must stop saying that we need money from the central government. Leadership demands that you look for solutions. Every cloud has a silver lining,” he said.
Ruto however pointed out that more focus should be on opportunities which can be created especially in a bid to raise revenue and ensure accountability by the governors.
“Do not focus on the cloud. Look for the silver lining. You know you could be having a problem, but there is opportunity. How can you turn it around? This clamour for more money from the central government, more allocations is really based on naivety; people not thinking outside the box. The question is… how do you raise revenue?” he stated.
He enumerated the principle of devolution which he says involves the devolution of resources, power, accountability and making sure that people are engaged in the process of the use of funds at the lower level.
“So if power has been devolved to you, you must think. If you have authority, it comes with responsibility, and with responsibility comes accountability,” he said.
He underscored the need for governors to take charge of their counties and create opportunities which promote development.
“If you are a big man or so you think, that big man thing comes with responsibility and being responsible means you think about the opportunities that exist in the challenges that you have. It is not that you go and camp… looking and gazing and focusing on the problems that exist, otherwise you do not become a leader. You become part of the crowd and I am sure that is not what Kenyans are looking for when they are looking for leaders,” he said.
He explained that Kenyans were looking for leaders who would provide solutions to a particular problem affecting them.
“They are not looking for people to go and tell them about how much trouble we are in. They are looking for people to go and tell them how we are going to get out of the troubles we are in for a better scenario. Yes, we have challenges in counties but it is for the leadership in those counties who we, their electorates and the rest of Kenyans expect them to look for solutions and there are no two ways about it. You must be the solution provider,” he said.
He further emphasised the need for everyone in the national and county governments to manage the affairs of the country with diligence, commitment and fairness.