Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa has outlined that the Big Four Plan will be at the forefront of discussions in the Devolution conference slated for next week in Kakamega County, starting Monday. On Thursday, CS Wamalwa said the development of individual Counties and success of devolution depends on the Big Four pointers laid out by President Uhuru Kenyatta-food security, Universal healthcare, affordable housing and manufacturing.
He said the national government has a major role to play to ensure the Big Four agenda and devolution as a whole is achieved, adding that County administrations on their own won’t achieve much and that the national government will persist with capacity building and building close relations with the Governors. “The focus of the conference will be on the Big Four. We want to build partnerships with the County governments, and once the Big Four agenda is achieved, problems like poverty will be solved,” said CS Wamalwa.
Devolution has been a major player in the Jubilee administration, with development being channelled to the Counties, and the CS said soon the fruits of devolution will be realized. “Very soon we might start seeing the urban-rural migration, with the County governments now working and functions devolved, we are seeing more people going back to do business,” he said.
Previously, Governors have voiced their frustrations with the delayed disbursement of funds to the Counties for the National Treasury, and the Devolution CS didn’t dispel that fact, saying indeed the government has experienced challenges. He cited drought and last year’s elections season as major impediments, however, he said the Treasury docket is working to ensure there is a smooth release of funds, “Through the devolution conference we want to sit with the Governors and see how these issues can be addressed,” he said.
Furthermore, he urged Counties to come together and form regional economic blocs to market themselves as economic entities and not as individuals, saying the Continental Trade deal that was signed by African Heads of State in Kigali, Rwanda should set the tone for Counties.