Counties were Wednesday put on the spotlight over reluctance in the implementation of laws that promote good governance and reinforce national inclusivity.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Second County Peer Review Mechanism (CPRM) workshop in Machakos African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Director Peter Kimemia faulted counties for failing to adhere to laid out legislations especially in regard to job creation and gender equality.
The officer is now calling for citizens to take their individual leaders to task to ensure they adhere to the laid out constitutional provisions.
“We need to start addressing the emerging pockets of marginalization. This is problem across the counties. Counties must start complying with section 65 of the County Government Act in regard to employment, recruitment and contracts so that we can have national unity,” stressed the officer.
He nevertheless lauded governors who are working hard to ensure they comply with the provisions of the laws on employment and the two-third gender rule and said the agency will lobby for such counties to be accorded special incentives such as conditional grants beside other rewards.
Kimemia also tasked members of the public and the civil society to pressure governors to comply with all provisions of the law including presenting their grievances to the Senate and other relevant government agencies for redress.
“What we are doing is about improving governance and service delivery within the country. Perceptions of marginalization was supposed to be addressed by citizens having opportunity to decide their development priorities and to govern themselves,” he said citing corruption, youth unemployment and diversity management as some of the issues that cut across the 22 African members states that have so far been reviewed under the African Peer Review Mechanism out of the 38 member states.
The one-day workshop will also be used in presenting the findings of the Second Country Peer Review Report to members of the public before cascading the recommendations to all the counties.
The CPRM delegation intends to visit eight out of the 47 counties where residents will be educated on how they can participate in improving governance at the local level.
Governors of various counties will also in future be in a position to peer review each other in a bid to bench mark with each other and enact best practices that will promote social, economic and political growth in the country in line with attainment of SDGs and Vision 2030.
The APRM is voluntary self-assessment criterion for the sole purpose of championing transformative leadership through the sharing of experiences amongst the 39 member states.
It was agreed upon by African member countries in 2003. Kenya ratified the agreement to the APRM Memorandum of Understanding in March 2003.
In 2006 Kenya became the third African country to be peer reviewed at the AU Banjul summit in Gambia.
Besides Kenya, other countries that have undergone through the peer review process include Ghana, Rwanda and Mauritius.
By Samuel Maina