The council of governors wants President William Ruto to release Ksh300 billion for functions that were recently devolved to the counties.
Speaking on Thursday, after a two-day retreat meeting in Masaai Mara, the governors, led by chairperson Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga) and her deputy Ahmed Abdulahi (Wajir), complained that the functions were still being held by the national government.
Governors cited a report by the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC), which indicated that the funds were delayed at the line ministries, thus affecting county operations.
“We have today, on the second day of reflection and realignment, arrived at resolutions and areas of focus for the next year. For devolution to succeed, we must now, as the two levels of government, together with our corresponding legislative arms, act on our commitments aligned with the Constitution,” Governor Anne Waiguru stated.
Wajir Governor, Ahmed Abdullahi, giving an address at the council of governors retreat in Maasai Mara on November 9, 2023
Council of Governors
She added that the council was open to seeking the court’s intervention after dialogue and other amicable conflict-resolution measures failed.
“The council has always embraced consultation, consensus and cooperation but may have no option but to seek legal redress where there is deliberate slowing down or claw back on devolved functions.
“It’s been over 10 years now. It is time we have a complete transfer of devolved functions for effective service delivery to citizens who have so far only enjoyed the dividends of partial devolution,” she added.
The governors thus want the funds released in the supplementary budget in line with a promise Ruto issued in August 2023. The head of state pledged to oversee the transfer of all the remaining devolved functions to county governments in 60 days.
Another grievance raised by the governors was the high cost of living, which they argued was affecting operations in the county. They urged the President to come up with more ways of cushioning Kenyans who are grappling to make ends meet.
Wajir governor, Ahmed Abdulahi, asked the national government to reconvene a special Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) to discuss the matter of the cost of living and find a solution through the two levels of government.
Following the Senate’s decision to overturn the impeachment of Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza, the governors want Parliament to fast-track two pieces of legislation that provide for a watertight impeachment process.
They further warned that the current impeachment threshold can be manipulated for selfish interests.
“According to CoG chair and Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru, the pieces of legislation have a clear path for impeaching a governor, including the provision of not impeaching a governor 2 years into her administration and the last year does not give them room to deliver on their manifesto.
“The governors want the process tightened to be akin to that of recalling a member of Parliament,” a statement released by CoG added.
Governors at a retreat in Maasai Mara on November 9, 2023
Council of Governors