, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 20 – Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has described devolution as a success while at the same time emphasising the need for the County and National Governments to reach common ground despite their differences.
Speaking during the third annual devolution conference in Meru, Kiunjuri observed that Kenyans have benefitted from faster and efficient service delivery.
He pointed out that water provision, building of roads and distribution of electricity have improved in all the counties.
“Have we enabled Kenyans to make their own decisions? Of course we have. You will all recall that the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution prepared an assessment of the nation’s governance since 2013,” he said. “It showed that all the county governments had put in place the basic institutional and administrative structures they needed to govern.”
Kiunjuri stressed the need to build on the gains made and to ensure that devolution succeeds and indicated that this can only be done if both the National and County Governments are united in working together.
“Kenya is a democracy. We will always have debates and disagreements. But we also need to govern the nation for the sake of those who sent us and that means that we as leaders must strive to always get common ground,” he said.
He stated that without this, the results achieved could be reversed.
“Without some kind of an agreement, we cannot serve the people of Kenya and we cannot begin to fulfil the very high hopes that are placed on us. I have no intention of letting down Kenyans so I will do all within my power to bring leaders together and to prevent them, from endangering devolution,” he stated.
While citing the example of Makueni County, the Devolution CS also emphasised the need for conflicts within counties to be resolved as quickly as possible.
“That is why I made it clear that the County Government of Makueni would not be dissolved. I hoped that the leaders there would find common cause and that some reconciliation might be found. I believe that in times to come, we will work together and anticipate and solve those conflicts before they spill over,” he said.
The devolution conference was attended by more than 6,000 local and foreign delegates, including Namibia’s Prime Minister and Ethiopia’s Federal Minister.
Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro who spoke earlier said that the three day conference is set to focus on reviewing the gains made and challenges affecting devolution following the commencement of the transition process.