Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa is urging county governors to support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report as it seeks to strengthen devolution.
Wamalwa said the governors should back the BBI proposals without reservations as it seeks to increase money sent to counties from 15 per cent to 35 per cent.
The CS said devolution is transforming the lives of Kenyans through cascading resources and decision making to the grassroots.
He said enhanced resources will see the devolved units realize meaningful development and offer quality services at the grassroots.
He said it’s critical that the 47 county governors be part of the BBI conversation and drive the political process at the grassroots level for it to bear fruits.
Wamwala said counties will receive enhanced resources if the proposals by the BBI championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga are adopted by Kenyans.
“BBI seeks to increase resource allocation to devolved units from the current 15 percent to 35 percent and so we expect the county bosses not to join the ranks of those fighting such good proposals,” he said.
He went on; “the process will ensure greater inclusivity, fairness, justice, equity and accountability in the allocation and distribution of national resources”.
He said devolution was the greatest governance transformation in Kenya since its inception in 2013 and continues to transform the country hence the need to nurture and protect it.
Wamalwa said as devolution minister he has traversed the length and breadth of the country and ‘can attest to the wonders that devolution brought to hitherto marginalized corners of the nation’.
“Devolution has had its successes and challenges since its inception and what we need now is to strengthen devolution for Kenyans to enjoy prosperity,” he said.
The CS said the process will help address the needs of the people in terms of socio-economic and political developments and asked governors to be proactive in fighting theft and plunder of public resources entrusted to them.
The CS spoke on Thursday when he officially opened the Governors’ Social Risk Management Roundtable at Southern Palms Beach Resort in Kwale County.
He said despite the fair share of challenges in implementing the devolution system strengthening it will greatly continue to transform the lives of millions of Kenyans across the country.
Wamalwa who was accompanied by his Principal Secretary (PS) Charles Sunkuli, said the report proposes to devolve more resources to the counties which he said has been a big challenge to the devolved units.
He said devolving more resources to the counties will in the long run end inequality, poverty and underdevelopment across the country.
Wamalwa at the same time said public participation is a cardinal pillar of devolution and asked the counties to expand and improve their public participation efforts in development.
He said devolution has brought power and resources to the counties hence the need for people to take charge of their development initiatives and priorities at the grassroots level.
“Public participation in the development process cannot be gainsaid and we want the county governments to be more open in the management of public affairs,” said Wamalwa.
He noted corruption remains a big challenge in the country and more so at the counties and underscored the need to put in place watertight measures to curb theft of public resources.
By Hussein Abdullahi