Newly elected Vice Chairperson of Council of Governors Mwangi wa Iria has promised to spearhead engagements with national government in sealing loopholes affecting devolution.
In his acceptance message after the elections, Murang’a governor said he will revolutionize engagements with all other stakeholders in ways and approaches that ensure devolution always wins.
Local politics, late and intermittent funds disbursement from the National Government, Wa Iria observed, were some of the challenges which need to be ironed out for successful realization of devolution.
He noted the CoG will seek to address the challenges through mediation, negotiations or petitions to the Senate as the watchdog and protector of devolution or public interest litigations.
“It will be business unusual geared towards improving devolution. The Senate, devolution’s guardian, must rise to the occasion and nurture devolution without the strings of might or interests attached,” added the Governor.
Wa Iria who was elected to deputize Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, underscored the mandate of county assemblies as critical in the devolved governance framework.
“County assemblies deserve fair share of recognition for defending devolution. Even though there have been cases of Executive and Legislature wrangles, they have been few, varied and have often been sorted even without external mediation,” said Wa Iria.
He praised devolution saying it has seen development permeate to the grassroots in levels unparalleled since independence.
“We, as Governors, believe with a larger share of devolved funds, more can be achieved, and our people benefit more from devolution,” he added.
The balancing act of negotiating for a larger devolved share, the Vice Chairman said must be commensurate with not just their promises and wishes as a Council and individual County Governments but also with the level of development and societal emancipation achieved.
“The practicality of devolved governance rests with the fruits so achieved and being enjoyed by the ordinary mwananchi at the grassroots,” he observed.
Wa Iria further said that together with other officials of CoG they will steer devolution resiliently especially at this time of volatile succession politics with due diligence, non-partisanship, accountability, transparency and integrity.
He lauded Governor’s Summit, the Donor Community and the Diplomatic community for continuous support they accorded CoG.
Wa Iria who is serving second term in office, was elected to replace Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru in the CoG.
By Bernard Munyao