The Council of Governors (CoG) now says that devolution is working despite facing challenges.
Speaking Friday at a Nairobi hotel during the 6th State of Devolution Address, the Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya decried inadequate funding for counties saying that only 20% of total revenue in the country is allocated to county governments.
Oparanya now says that this figure has to be reviewed upwards to 45% and that 2% should be allocated to the Judiciary to ensure independence.
“We shall not participate in a referendum unless revenue allocation to counties is reviewed to 45% and 2% of total revenue allocated to the judiciary to ensure its independence. Those are our terms” Oparanya said.
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The Kakamega governor lamented the delay in disbursement of funds to counties from Treasury which he termed as an impediment to executing their mandate.
The disbursements of monies to Counties from @KeTreasury has throughout the 6 years been outside the mandated time-frame as provided for in the PFM Act which requires that the transfers be made on every 15th date of the month. #SODA2019
— Council of Governors (@KenyaGovernors) June 28, 2019
He pointed out that unchecked borrowing by the government had also affected the equitable share to Counties which has significantly reduced.
“There are no mechanisms in place to ensure that transferred functions and resource allocation are commensurate. Consultations by both levels of Governments have not yielded results…. Our continued appeal to carry out actual costing of functions remains a polarizing issue,” he regretted.
He at the same time took issue with the the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) for budgetary anomalies in the Audited Accounts of 11 Counties and called for professional vigilance .
“We must work with the Auditor General, Controller of Budget and National Treasury specifically IFMIS department to clean up the system and ensure no such anomalies happen again” he advised.
The CoG further pointed an accusing finger at the National Assembly for passing legislation without consulting the Senate, a move he says is affecting devolution together with untamed borrowing by the government.
“Currently, we are witnessing Laws and policies being passed by Parliament with provisions that infringe on and interfere with the functions of County Governments”the Kakamega governor Oparanya noted.
Meanwhile, the CoG chair has hailed the county governments for the strides it has made in agriculture through empowering farmers.
“In a period of on year,20 million kilograms of subsidized fertilizer has been distributed to farmers and green houses put in place” Oparanya said, adding that counties allocate 6.7% of their annual budget to agriculture to ensure food security in line with the Jubilee administration big four agenda.
He regretted the health crisis facing most counties which he attributed to inadequate funding and frequent strikes by doctors.
“In Health KEMSA continues to operate in the manner it operated before the new constitutional order. The Composition of its board does not reflect devolution despite County Governments being the major consumer of their services”
The issue of some service providers being on study leave has also affected the health sector in the counties.
The council of governor’s 2018/2019 financial year comes to a close on Friday.