Governors' Summit - day one as it happened


Governors' Summit - day one as it happened

Governors' Summit - Day One

  • 6:00pm: A question and answer session brings day one of the Governors' Summit to a close.

  • 5:47pm: On whether the Governors' Summit will be held annually or more frequently, Mr Gitahi says: "This is a partnership Nation Media Group is building, not with the view towards the next election, but for posterity."

  • 5:28pm: Mr Gitahi: "Money for counties is collected by the Kenya Revenue Authority from everywhere around the country. It is not the central government that gives money to the counties, it is we in the counties that give money to the central government."

  • 5:25pm: Mr Gitahi: "The power received with devolution comes with the responsibility to empower the people."

  • 5:22pm: Mr Gitahi: "The economy of Nairobi County is about one-third the size of that of Burundi, measured on population size and budget estimates"

  • 5:19pm: NMG CEO Linus Gitahi: "We as Nation Media Group are listening. I can stand here and say I have been to over 50 percent of the counties. I go there with our editors and the reason we do that is to listen. We want to be part of the solution."

  • 5:17pm: Tom Mshindi brings the panel discussion to a close.

  • 5:15pm: Responding to a question, Mr Kipng'etich tells the governors: "You have incredible power. Create investment authorities; the Constitution gives you power to create parastatals at county level."

  • 5:07pm: Mr Kipng'etich: "You can never bring 'maendeleo', your job is to create the platform for 'maendeleo'. 'Maendeleo' will always be brought about by the people."

  • 5:00pm: Mr Kipng'etich: "If you want a million followers, communicate with them. Right now, the divergence of views in your counties is because they don't know what you are doing."

  • 4:55pm: Julius Kipng'etich: "Leadership is about having willing followers. The reality on the ground is you have no willing followers. I want you to negotiate through the Council of Governors to reorganise the public service. As it is now, the public service is not ready for the new dispensation. Let us agree as a country that we have too many public servants. What do we do?"

  • 4:47pm: Mr Kinisu: "You are either born a leader or become one. You have emerged as leaders from the electoral process. Bear in mind that leading is not a one-man issue. Capacity building in the counties is essential."

  • 4:33pm: NMG COO Tom Mshindi, who is moderating the panel, now invites Dr Evans Kidero to speak on leadership. Philip Kinisu, chairman of the Board of Governors at PricewaterhouseCoopers Africa delivers his remarks soon after.

  • 4:26pm: The summit resumes. Prof Olive Mugenda, the Vice Chancellor of Kenyatta University, currently speaking. "What can you do in your county to create wealth there?" she asks.

  • 3:12pm: President Kagame is escorted out as the summit breaks for lunch.

  • 3:06pm: "Never in the trenches did I aspire to become President of Rwanda. After signing the peace agreement, it was expected that I would be president. I said I would rather it be someone else, I told them I could play another role. The party then selected another person to serve as president from 1994 to 2000," says President Kagame, adding that when that term ended the party came to him and said once again he should become president.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame fielding questions at the Governors' Summit 2014 at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha on January 20, 2014. The Nation Media Group will host the Second Governors Summit on February 26 to 27 at the Enashipai Resort in Naivasha.  FILE PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH |

Rwandan President Paul Kagame fielding questions at the Governors' Summit 2014 at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha on January 20, 2014. The Nation Media Group will host the Second Governors Summit on February 26 to 27 at the Enashipai Resort in Naivasha. FILE PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH |NATION MEDIA GROUP

  • 2:41pm: Answering a question on land, President Kagame says that Rwanda also had big problems with land. "The government had distributed the land of those who fled the conflict. When those people returned there were many claims over ownership of land. Someone returning may find their piece of land now has 10 families living on it. People then sought compensation from the government. The disputed land was divided. You may not have the whole of your original land - maybe a small piece of that land. As much as everyone seems to be losing, everyone is winning. There was also a game park; a very big part of it had animals and rich people would come pay money and shoot the animals there and then fly off. We said we would use this area to settle people. We had a lot of problems. Animals were moved and people were settled."

  • 2:35pm: On leadership, President Kagame says: "It starts with promoting accountability; horizontal accountability and vertical accountability. We started putting structures in place to ensure this happened. Leadership should not mean the President, it is the structures and institutions in place."

  • 1:43pm: President Kagame on national healing in Rwanda: "We have been very liberal in our system; our country remains secular. In Rwanda, Muslims were terribly marginalised under the previous regime. We changed that."

  • 1:32pm: On the now famous cleanliness in Kigali, President Kagame says: "Look at your city as your homestead. Do we need donors to give us money to clean our homesteads? We decided 'Let us have a day every month to remind us to clean our homes and streets.' Every month, on a Saturday, we have a conversation as a nation."

  • 1:14pm: President Kagame: "There is no magic or miracle that will get us where we want to be. Africa will succeed when we understand what has held us back." Concluding his address, President Kagame says that he is "happy to join the discussion after these short remarks".

  • 12:58pm: President Kagame congratulates the people of Kenya for the change to a devolved system of government. "Rwanda stands with Kenya in the task of implementing a government framework. African governments have common aspirations and face common challenges. This gives us scope to learn from each other. It is up to us to put in place a leadership and governance built on local leads and is people-centred. In the business of government, there is no solution that does not involve citizens."

  • 12:53pm: President Kagame now addressing the summit. "Let me begin by belatedly wishing you all a productive and happy New Year 2014."

  • 12:40pm: Dr Fred Matiangi, the ICT Cabinet Secretary, now delivering a speech on behalf of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

  • 12:38pm: Mr Rutto, also on the media, says: "We really welcome the role the media is playing in devolution. Can the newspapers take over the protection of the concept of devolution."

  • 12:34pm: Mr Kiboro, speaking on the media's role in devolution, says: "Devolution is here to stay. We can either be a positive force or a negative one. We owe it to Kenyans to support the governors. The media should take time to understand devolution." He welcomes Isaac Rutto, chairman of the Council of Governors, to the podium.

  • 12:18pm: The summit resumes. Nation Media Group chairman Wilfred Kiboro welcomes all. Chief guest H.E. Paul Kagame has arrived and will give the keynote speech.

  • 11:18am: The summit delegates break for tea ahead of the arrival of President Kagame.

  • 11:17am: The closing remarks of the panel: Reneva Fourie: "We've been monitoring the situation in Kenya very closely as we look to develop devolution structures that can work in Africa and we will continue monitoring you." Wajir governor Ahmed Abdullahi: "Devolution got off to a flying start albeit with some challenges. I urge all at county level and national level to ensure that the process of devolution is protected." Prof Muigai: "The office of the Attorney General is an office available for legal advice. We are happy to support you (the governors) as best we can. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you."

  • 11:12am: Prof Muigai: "There is a mismatch between the accountability the people want to see and the resources available. There was a huge debate in Parliament about the involvement of the governors in the County Security Committee. However, that is insufficient in itself as it is an oversight role and the governor has no way to respond immediately and therefore this is an issue for reform - a work in progress."

  • 10:57am: Prof Muigai, responding to a question from Council of Governors chairman Isaac Rutto, says: "The Constitution is a legal document, and therefore to that extent it must be interpreted legally. But the Constitution also contains the romantic part of the vision of Kenya - our hopes, dreams and wishes - and sometimes when we mix the two there is some confusion. When we drafted this Constitution at Bomas and made the distinction between security as a national function and a county function, we believed it was the best way to go. The truth is the people in the counties themselves are happy with the security forces nationally but they want to be told who will take care of village security. You are asking whether security should be managed on the national or county level and I believe that issue should be open to review." (READ: Marsabit governor 'not to blame' for insecurity)

  • 10:47am: Reneva Fourie: "There is no reason why we (Africa) are not at the forefront of economic development. Maybe it is because we are too quick to go to war instead of turning to dialogue."

  • 10:39am: Prof Muigai: "Because we devolved funds and did not wind up funds that were available in the region, there is money under county governments as well as money under Members of Parliament. We need to sit down and ask ourselves how we can manage those devolved funds."

  • 10:28am: Reneva Fourie: "Fortunately for South Africa, we had a previous history with local government. People had an experience of devolved authority. We also had a very strong governing party."

  • 10:23am: Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai is now speaking: "Devolution is here to stay. Issues will not disappear because a county government is in place. Unfortunately, county governance has exacerbated some of these traditional problems. National and county governments should work together in handling security issues."

  • 10:13am: Wajir governor Ahmed Abdullahi: "Money did not come in time. Also, the impression of governors using developmental funds for recurrent expenditure was also not true."

  • 10:09am: Wajir county governor Ahmed Abdullahi now gives his view on devolution so far. "We did not have the 7 years period of implementation. The reality is a lot of governors went for a long period without offices. We got off to a very rough start, we did not have titles and did not know what to call ourselves. These are some of the things that made things difficult at the very beginning. During our swearing-in, we were given flags, only to be asked a few weeks later to return them. Next came the funding issues and the budgeting. There was also the challenge of the assemblies asking for unreasonable amounts." (READ: MPs move to deny governors car flags)

Vehicles belonging to governors who had attended a meeting at the Kenya School of Government in 2013. PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI | FILE

Vehicles belonging to governors who had attended a meeting at the Kenya School of Government in 2013. PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI | FILENATION MEDIA GROUP

  • 9:55am: The panel presentation now underway. First to speak is Hon. Reneva Fourie - PS AMCOD/CADE. Fourie: "Decentralisation is the only way to address people's needs; taking services closer to them. Decentralisation is the key to Africa's challenges ."

  • 9:50am: Dr Mlynar says that county assembly sessions in Slovakia are broadcast live on regional television, providing an opportunity for residents to see what is being discussed by their local leaders. The Q &A session concludes.

  • 9:46am: Kiambu governor William Kabogo asks about the issues Slovakia encountered during the devolution process. Dr Mlynar: "There were many issues; there was a lot of tension. This is where the role of the President of the Republic was crucial."

  • 9:28am: Prof Paul Chepkwony, the Kericho county governor, asks what the qualifications for governors and county assembly members in Slovakia are. Dr Mlynar replies: "For governors, the qualification is a university degree; there is no further qualification in terms of experience in public service. For the county assembly, there is no other qualification apart from being eligible as a voter. In Slovakia, one is eligible to be elected to the county assembly at the age of 21." Prof Kivutha Kibwana, governor of Makueni county asks about strategic consensus. Dr Mlynar: "This was a critical element for us also. Regionally, there were three different scenarios for the number counties to create, four, eight or 12. 12 would have covered best the historical borders of Slovakia, four would have covered best the previous administrative boundaries. It was felt that 12 was too many. What we ended up having was eight; the feeling was eight would have been more sustainable."

  • 9:21am: The Question and Answer session is now underway.

  • 9:19am: Dr Mlynar has outlined aspects of devolution in Slovakia. "Wise people learn from other people's mistakes. We committed a number of mistakes during our own devolution process. I invite you to learn from our mistakes."

  • 9:10am: Dr Mlynar mentions the reforms carried out in Slovakia after the fall of Communism. "Freedom and democracy cannot and should not be taken for granted," he says.

  • 9:03am: Slovak Republic Ambassador Dr Michal Mlynar now speaking on the topic Making Devolution Work.

  • 8:55am: Nation Media Group CEO Linus Gitahi welcomes Isaac Rutto, chairman of the Council of Governors, to the stage as the summit gets underway.

  • 8:17am: NTV's live coverage can be found on YouTube here and on the video section of our website here.

  • 7:53am: Key topics to be discussed during the summit are Leadership, Making Devolution Work and Positioning your County in the Regional Community.

  • 7:51am: There will be coverage of the summit on NTV, Easy and QFM, as well as the Nation Media Group's digital platforms.

  • 7:50am: The first year of implementation of the county system has seen serious conflicts among players with pushing and pulling as the transition proved not to be a so-easy exercise to achieve. The teething problems have been real. As the country enters the second year of implementation, the tough question remains whether county governments are taking the right steps and whether their demands to take on all the devolved functions at once were realistic. (READ: Governors meet to discuss progress of devolution)

  • 7:26am: The President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, will be the first keynote speaker at the meeting and is scheduled to speak on leadership at the opening session. Other keynote speakers of the day are Ambassador Republic of Slovakia Dr Michal Mlynar and Nation Media Group’s Chief Executive Officer Linus Gitahi. Talks will also be given on various topics by Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Olive Mugenda, PricewaterhouseCoopers board chairman Philip Kinisu and chairman of the Council of Governors Isaac Rutto. Attorney-General Githu Muigai and former MP Ruth Oniang’o, who also is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, will also give talks. (READ: Kagame to give talk as governors meet to discuss progress of devolution)

  • 7:24am: The Governors' Summit opens on Monday at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha. Governors are expected to use the summit, hosted by the Nation Media Group, to measure the progress of devolution and learn from other countries with a similar form of government. The theme of the summit is Governance and Leadership.