, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4 – The term of the Transition Authority ends on Friday and according to its chairman Kinuthia Wamwangi, they are exiting office with “no ill feelings” despite unsuccessfully seeking a one-year extension.
“We are going out through an Act of Parliament which specifies that. As we go, there are no feelings other than feeling lighter. This is a very heavy responsibility,” Wamwangi explained on Thursday, the day he handed over six key responsibilities to the Inter-governmental Relations Technical Committee.
- The six residual functions handed over to the Inter Governmental Relations Technical Committee include function analysis and competency assignment, audit of assets and liabilities and human resources and capacity building.
- Others include carrying out civic education and public participation, to address legal and intergovernmental issues and planning, budgeting and finance activities.
The chairman who was tasked by journalists to explain why the committee failed to exhaustively conclude all its functions within the three year period said: “It is only residual functions that have been handed over.”
To him, time was however the biggest challenge for the authority.
“Time was the biggest obstacle because transition has never taken three years anywhere in the world,” he said while pointing out that in countries like Canada, “it has taken 150 years. ”
“The minimum transition period can be is 10 years and beyond. Ask South Africans; there is residual work to be done since devolution could not have been done in three years.”
Lack of enough resources was another impediment according to the chairman who said that it slowed the pace of the authority in executing its functions.
“The resources are important since you are able to do things in a better and faster way,” he said.
Another challenge was setting up of functions due to conflict between the National and County Governments.
He lamented that both levels of the government continue to do each other’s work including those “that we transferred in 2013… there is still emerging issues.”
He explained that the committee taking over now needs to clarify the role of each levels of the government in order to avoid the ongoing wrangles.
Within the years, he says the authority still experienced resistance from people against devolution.
“There are people who still don’t believe in devolution,” he said while pointing out that some people are being discriminated against.
Impunity among governmental officials was also a challenge, “whereby after people acquire new powers do things, they start doing them according to how they want. This is very wrong.”
Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri on his part highly praised TA for what he termed as, “providing a very commendable foundation for further deepening and widening of the devolution process in Kenya.”
“Devolution was going to be and is indeed a process and not an event.”