County Assemblies Appeal For Financial Independence

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By Reuben Olita

County Assemblies Forum (CAF) that takes care of all 47 County Assemblies has called for financial autonomy to enable its members discharge their duties diligently.

Addressing the press after a round table meeting at the 9th Africities Summit in Kisumu under the topic: ” Decentralized oversight: The performance of county assemblies in oversighting the executive in Kenya, CAF chairman, Ndegwa Wahome said they need financial autonomy to give host members morale to deliver service to residents in their respective wards.

” We are asking them that there be amendment to the Public Finance Management Act and their regulations to ensure that County Assemblies have full financial autonomy to be able to provide oversight on billions of money that came to the counties.

He added, ” Despite all laws, there is need for political goodwill to support devolution so that it can work.We also need facilitation so that we are in communication with our people to gather information concerns and aspirations of residents.

Hon Ndegwa said the pitfalls facing his members are overwhelming with Governors holding the key in terms of funds allocated to them, thus the need to free County Assemblies from the bondage of the Executive to enable them deliver to their people.

Mr Wahome, who is also the Nyandarua County Assembly Speaker said it’s a big issue that some governors who have served their two mandatory terms want to go to the Senate well aware that the work they did for three years have not been audited by the Senate.

” There is confusion because the constitution never evisaged that a Governor would after serving for 10 years would have to go to the Senate to audit the same work he did while being the Governor ,” Wahome said.

He noted that the law should have been in place to bar such politicians from seeking elective positions like is the case for IEBC Commissioners until after five years.

Busia Member of the County Assembly,(nominated), Novena Ndaliro in questions and answers session said there is need by interGovermental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC) to help county Assemblies capacity build the regulations and put Acts together to enable them execute their oversight role.

” I also urge CAF to Invite IGRTC to talk to MCAs and Governors on shared vision aspect before the budget making process so that we can sit down and chat the way forward instead of neighbouring counties duplicating projects like construction of referrral hospitals,” she said.

The chairman of interGovermental Relations Technical Committee, Kithinji Kiragu said nutrition doesn’t need a budget, noting that households should be encouraged to embrace agriculture by keeping more poultry or rabbits instead of relying for funding to purchase the same products they have comparative advantage in.

H.E Kimemia told CAF to discard false notion that the oversight role of MCAs is only to catch ” thieves” but they should endeavour to enhance quality of institutions by oversighting standards and ensure that the oversight of the executive is done on regular basis without being punitive.

Photos:Busia Member of the County Assembly (nominated), Hon. Novena Ndaliro with CAF chairman, Hon. Ndegwa Wahome at the Africities Summit in Kisumu.

Busia Member of the County Assembly (nominated), Hon. Novena Ndaliro with Nyandarua Governor, H.E Francis Kimemia at the Africities Summit in Kisumu.

Busia Member of the County Assembly(nominated), Novena Ndaliro gives her contributions at the Africities Summit in Kisumu.

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