, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – Talk on the fight against corruption at the national and county governments’ level will largely feature during this year’s devolution conference set to be held in Meru County next week.
Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri says key stakeholders in charge of fighting the menace like the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) will be present during the deliberations to help seal loopholes.
Kiunjuri, while briefing journalists on Wednesday urged the EACC to deal with the threat head on, without fear or favour.
“We have the constitution of this country which has set institutions in charge of various responsibilities,” he stated. “The issue is; are we helping them to do their work? Are there any barriers?”
He said the conference will seek ways of facilitating the anti-graft agency as well as renewing the commitment and political goodwill of fighting graft.
“All levels of government must work together in fighting the menace…you clean up your house, I clean mine,” he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta during his State of the Nation Address lamented that the public was being denied crucial services due to graft despite the massive resources being channelled to the county level.
“You must ask, does the one trillion sent to the county governments reflected in what you see? Is there clean drinking water and proper sanitation; efficient garbage collection, medicines in hospitals, and agricultural extension workers visiting your farms? ” he posed, amid no responses from lawmakers.
“We need therefore to be frank. A significant proportion of the funds transferred to the devolved units have not met the expectations of the Kenyan people.”
Devolution, President Kenyatta said was meant to be a mechanism that would ensure no areas were left behind but, “instead, we see conspicuous consumption, self-aggrandisement, and wastefulness.”
“In some cases, we have seen fleets of vehicles and palaces being acquired to benefit administrators and officials. We have not seen enough of these hard-earned resources being utilised to provide concrete benefits to the people.”
He urged Kenyans to continue calling for accountability saying, “I join the Kenyan people in demanding total accountability and better results. This is your money.”
Deputy Chairperson of the Council of Governors Salim Mvurya on his part said all levels of government will be put to task to explain measures it has taken to curb the menace.
“Accountability is key…both levels of government have to equally be accountable,” he said. “It is an issue we need to face as Kenyans on equal measure.”
The three-day conference will kick off next week on Tuesday and will be addressed by President Kenyatta among other leaders in the country and the region.
During the conference, stakeholders are also set to review the gains made so far, challenges and come up with recommendations to enhance devolution even further.
“Devolution is the centrepiece of our very transformative constitutional agenda,” CS Kiunjuri said. “It has changed our governance system in ways that have undoubtedly achieved what may otherwise have taken years to achieve.”
The leaders will also assess the three-year transition period with a view of clarifying, “and forging understanding on what we must do better as we head towards completing the first five years of devolution.”