Government officials from Zimbabwe are in Homa Bay County for benchmarking on the success of devolution in Kenya.
The team made up of more than 30 officials arrived in Homa Bay on Monday and expressed their keen interest in learning from Kenya’s successes on devolution.
Led by the country’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works Zvinechimwe Churu, the Zimbabweans made a courtesy call on Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti at the county headquarters Wednesday in a programme supported by Swedish International Center for Local Democracy (ICLD).
The officials also met Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata, Deputy County Secretary James Mokaya, Miss President Nereah Oketch, County Assembly leadership among other officials from Homa Bay County.
Mr Churu said his team is learning about devolved functions such as health, agriculture, early childhood education, water and environment among others.
“Our mission to Homa Bay County was motivated by the strides devolution has made in this area. My country, Zimbabwe has a passion on devolved governance and we have so far been taken through structures of the county government,” he said.
Governor Awiti said the visit by the Zimbabweans is a manifestation of the achievements the county has made since 2013 noting that devolution had turned around the local economy.
He said Homa Bay county has grown to become an economic powerhouse in the region and was now being recognized for benchmarking.
“Currently the county operates for 24 hours every day of the year courtesy of devolution,” the governor said. He said his administration will continue to provide opportunities for residents to grow.
“This county has received up to Sh 30 Billion from the national government for development and other activities since 2013. We are creating an enabling environment for everyone to develop the county including job creation for the youth,” Mr Awiti said.
The Governor said his administration this month released Sh200 million to pay contractors and suppliers.
Ms Oketch said her office is committed to creating liaison with various development partners which can initiate good governance for proper service delivery of the people.
Ms Shannon Lovgren from ICLD said her organisation will continues in the partnership programme to encourage more interaction between citizens of the countries they are supporting to enable them exchange ideas.
By Naomi Wadende and Davis Langat