Kenya: Govt to Transfer Select National Functions to Counties in 2 Months – President Ruto

Nairobi — President William Ruto has revealed that some functions being discharged by the national government will be transferred to County Governments within the next 60 days.

President Ruto said Wednesday that a consensus had been reached between the relevant parties on the functions to be transferred.

“I am very happy that between the national government and the committee that is responsible for that job and other stakeholders we have finally agreed on the functions that should be transferred,” he said when he presided over the official opening of the 10th Devolution conference in Eldoret.

He added that an analysis on the funding that will accompany the transfers are currently underway.

“I am told that in the next 60 days we should be able to transfer all the remaining functions to the counties,” he added.

The Head of State singled out improved healthcare, agriculture, education, infrastructure, trade, development as some of the positive outcomes of devolution since its inception 10 years ago.

Apart from the success stories, Ruto acknowledged that devolution has encountered setbacks owing to poor coordination, administrative rigidity and inefficiencies which he says have “suppressed effective performance.”

According to Ruto, their remains capacity shortfalls which he argues contribute to poor and absent implementation of policies, programs and projects.

The Head of State further stated that the delays in the disbursing allocation to counties have tremendous negative effects which cascade to the households at grass root level leading negatively affecting different sectors.

“There is no excuse for this, and we simply have to do better,” Ruto said as he promised to fast track the disbursement of funds to devolved units in the future.

“Being a strong believer in devolution and having made a commitment that we will do what is possible to make sure that we try to the extent possible to keep to the timelines of disbursing money that is due to counties.”

Ruto said that unlike last financial year where the national government closed the year with about Sh 30 billion due to Counties, his administration has ensured that monies meant for counties was paid to counties on time.

He went on to say that the national government has already settled the July allocation to counties.

“I intend to the extent possible to keep to this schedule, so that Counties can manage their issues, deliver on their mandate, serve the people at the grassroot, roll out their programs, implement their projects in a timely manner and in a way that benefits people at the grassroots,” he said.

To support the bottom up economic transformation agenda, Ruto pointed out that his administration committed to collaborating with county governments and enhancing the equitable allocation to the devolved units from sh370 billion in the 2022 to 2023 financial year to 385.4 billion in 2023 to 2024 financial year.

He added that the equalization fund was also allocated Sh 8.3 billion, an increase of 1.2 billion in the same period.

“We promise to support County governments in improving their capacity to generate their own income and reduce over reliance of transfers from the national government,” Ruto stated.

Ruto further said that his government undertook to transfer funds owed to beneficiary counties under the Mining 2016 and the Petroleum 2019 Acts and to collaborate with counties to increase their capacity to benefit from extractive resources money which he said will be disbursed this year.

The Head of State said that collaboration with counties is the only sure way of maximizing the benefits of devolution.

“We recognise that the bottom of economic transformation agenda will achieve its highest potential and lift up the highest number of people if we focus thoroughly on collaboration with County governments in order to empower them as the stewards of development of the grassroots,” he added.

He pointed out that though devolution is by law a 2-tier affair, it should in practice reach the lowest and smallest possible unit of political organisation under the principle of subsidiarity.

He noted the ward must in time become a central driver of bottom up economic transformation.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *