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MCAs reject proposal for regional governors

Monday February 17 2020

devolution

County Assemblies Forum vice-chairperson Florence Mwangangi. The organisation wants devolution strengthened. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

PATRICK LANG'AT
By PATRICK LANG'AT
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Ward representatives and a section of civil society leaders have rejected a proposal for regional governors.

In their memoranda to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) task force that is validating its report, the leaders want the devolution structure to remain as it is.

“We instead call for the revitalisation of the economic blocs which will spur economic growth in the regions,” said Ms Florence Mwangangi the vice-chairperson of the County Assemblies Forum.

The forum has a membership of 2,331, who include 2,237 MCAs, the 47 Speakers and the 47 clerks of the regional Houses.

The idea of creating regional governments was first mentioned by ODM leader Raila Odinga during the 2018 Devolution Conference in Kakamega.

He suggested that these larger governments would manage the counties to make them financially viable and better managed.

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Similarly, the Multi-Sectoral Forum, comprising civil society leaders, dismissed the regional governments proposal as a bad idea.

OVERSIGHT AGENCY

The forum, instead, proposed establishment of a devolution oversight authority.

In its presentation, the County Assemblies Forum, chaired by Nyandarua County Assembly Speaker Ndegwa Wahome, called for financial autonomy from the county executive.

“It is unfortunate that up to now, county assemblies have to rely on the county executive to get funding. It does not make sense that a county assembly, which is at the mercy of the governor, has to oversight the county executive that decides when and how much money it gets,” said Ms Mwangangi.

Similarly, the group wants strict adherence to Commission for Revenue Allocation recommendations on revenue sharing, saying that any deviation by Parliament should not exceed three per cent.