NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – The Council of Governors (CoG) Monday resolved to retain Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya as Chairperson following consensus reached during a full council meeting attended by 38 governors.
Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria and his Makueni Counterpart Kivutha Kibwana also retained their posts as the Deputy Chairperson and Chief Whip respectively.
Two governors tendered their apologies. It was not clear why seven other governors missed the crucial meeting.
Speaking during the event held in Nairobi, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa urged the governors to continue working together with the National Government to ensure challenges faced at the county level in 2019, do not reoccur.
“When we are talking about the future of Kenya the two levels of government must continue working to together in the spirit of Article 6 of our constitution. The leadership should work in consultation and cooperation with the president. For us to realize vision 2030 we must work around the clock for all our 47 counties and 47 million citizens,” he said.
Wamalwa singled out drought and floods as the biggest challenges that hit most of the counties in the past year and urged them to take proactive measures geared at addressing challenges arising from climate change.
He particularly urged county chiefs build capacities in disaster risk management and mitigation strategies.
In his acceptance speech, Oparanya, vowed to continue working to strengthen devolution noting that since the establishment of county governments seven years ago, remarkable transformation has been witnessed in service delivery countrywide.
Governor Oparanya highlighted under funding of county governments, delayed disbursement of funds from the National Treasury, accumulation of pending bills, terror-related attacks and corruption as the main inhibitors of development in the counties.
“My desire is that this will be a year of deeper partnerships. Synergy between the national and County governments is so s important in delivery agencies such as the Universal health care. We require the contribution of each county. Our success relies on our ability to overcome divisiveness and form unprecedented partnerships which lead us to unlimited possibilities, ” Oparanya said.
New technical committee chairpersons were also elected in the full council meeting to head dockets including legal affairs, finance and agriculture.
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi – Legal Affairs, Security and Foreign Affairs committee.
Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati – Finance
Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki – Agriculture
Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony – Gender, Youth, Sports, Culture and Social Services
Narok Governor Samuel Tunai – Tourism and Natural Resources committee
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo – Arid and Semi-arid land (ASAL) counties
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui – Urban Planning & Infrastructure
Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga – Education
Kisii Governor James Ongwae – Human Resources, Labour and Social Welfare
Embu Governor Martin Wambora – Trade
Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti – Health
CoG has had four chairpersons since its inception in 2013.
The position of Chairperson has been previously held by former Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto, former Meru Governor Peter Munya and Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok .