Devolution at 8; the struggles and achievements

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The eight years of devolution have brought successful stories of devolution but also an equal share of disappointment.


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By John Friday

With the promulgation of the Kenya Constitution 2010 came devolution, the new system of governance that introduced the county governments, commonly known as the devolved structure of governance. The anchors of the new constitution envisaged the new dawn of governance and management of public resources. Devolution was a timely concept which carried aspirations and expectations of many Kenyans.

Hope for the marginalized

Devolution brought up a new awakening to the marginalized communities and regions of this nation. The Wananchi were upbeat that the new system would address some of the historic economic injustices perpetuated by regimes since independence. With the equalization fund, regions like Turkana, Samburu, Baringo et al were all assured of catching up with the rest of the country in matters development. Kenyans had hoped that prudent and efficient utilization of public funds would improve, consequently improving service delivery.

Grassroots development

There were hopes that devolution would spur development in the grassroots, enhance wealth creation by offering conducive business environment, attracting investors and creating job opportunities for the locals. The eight years of devolution has brought successful stories of devolution but also an equal share of disappointment.

Teething Problems

There are few counties today enjoying the true fruits of devolution whilst some are grappling with teething problems such as corruption, nepotism, cronyism. Makueni County under the stewardship of Hon. Kivutha Kibwana has performed reasonably well in financial prudence and prioritization of projects. Consequently, there is direct impact to the local mwananchi in ares of health, farming, water and entrepreneurship.

It’s sad to note that while some counties strive to live the dream, others are marred by corruption and incompetency, disregard to development and poor service delivery. It’s the hope of all development loving Kenyans that the departments mandated to fight corruption will reign on run-away corruption in the counties and restore the dwindling hope of Kenyans.

I insist that devolution can work and will work, but only if we elect development oriented persons. The devolution promise lives on and on..!

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