Governors say city meetings disruptive - Daily Nation

Governors protest over frequent meetings called in the city

Monday April 15 2019

Council of Governors

Former Council of Governors Chairman Josphat Nanok addresses a press conference on October 25, 2018 in Nairobi. The council complained that such meetings lead to the disruption of services in the counties because they are not planned. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KENNEDY KIMANTHI
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Governors facing accusations of running their counties from Nairobi had complained to the national government about the frequent meetings they are invited to attend in the city.

In a letter addressed to the Head of the Public Service, Mr Joseph Kinyua, last year, the Council of Governors (CoG) complained that such meetings lead to the disruption of services in the counties because they are not planned.

The letter by former CoG Chairman Josphat Nanok seen by the Nation requested that all invitations to workshops, retreats, seminars and any other engagements that require the governors or other county officials’ engagements be sent to the council at least a month in advance.

“There are too many meetings that are demanding the presence of county leaders and officials. It is not uncommon to find one ministry inviting the same county personnel to more than one meeting in the same month.

OUT OF OFFICE

‘‘This essentially means that county officials are constantly out of office, which is leading to disruption of service delivery in the counties,” Mr Nanok said in the letter dated May 17, 2018.

In the letter copied to all Cabinet secretaries, the governors also requested that all invitations to county leaders and officials be signed by the ministers in charge or their principal secretaries.

“The Council has directed its secretariat and has advised county governments to politely decline to receive and return any invitation that fails to comply,” it read.

The current CoG Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya last week defended his colleagues, saying it is practically impossible to run a county without travelling to Nairobi.

NO FULL DEVOLUTION

“The truth is that we have not had full devolution. It is still in its infancy and as such, we will keep coming to Nairobi since most of the essential services we rely on are still based there,” he said.

CoG Chief Executive Officer Jacqueline Mogeni said the Intergovernmental Relations Act, 2012 provides for a framework for consultation and cooperation between the national and county governments.

“Since most national organs’ functions and services are not yet fully decentralised, it has been the practice that most engagements with the national government, and even with development partners, are convened in Nairobi.

“Indeed, most of the meetings and workshops are usually at the instigation of the national government,” she said.

Some governors last Wednesday attended a meeting on the implementation of the Kenya Urban Support Programme and the preparation of the Kenya Informal Slums Implementation Programme Phase 2 in Nairobi, while others attended a meeting on Agriculture on March 25.