Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya has rejected calls to merge counties and instead wants increased funding from the National Government to the devolved units.
Speaking on Tuesday in Tiwi where he gave out bursary cheques worth Sh5 million to 436 students, Mr Mvurya said that merging of counties would take the country backwards.
He said merging counties would kill devolution which has greatly helped to improve the lives of the people at the grassroots level by bringing services closer to them.
The county boss reiterated that despite some challenges, devolution is crucial to the country’s economic development.
Mr Mvurya added that devolution has opened up marginalised areas of the country, urging leaders to stop fighting it and instead put their energies into ensuring it works.
“Counties have made tremendous difference on people’s lives especially at the grassroots since the inception of devolution through the various development projects," he said.
He added that leaders should focus on making devolution work better by channelling more resources to counties.
The governor insisted that it would be wrong to reduce the number of counties, saying it is through devolution that Kenyans are benefiting.
"We have seen the fruits of devolution and we are not interested in reducing the number of counties, but [in getting] more funding to the devolved units," he said.