Focus shifts to development at Devolution conference

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President Uhuru Kenyatta has revealed he has proposed for funding to be increased for bodies charged with fighting graft
President Uhuru Kenyatta has revealed he has proposed for funding to be increased for bodies charged with fighting graft

President Uhuru Kenyatta has outlined the benefits of devolution five years down the line, while at the same time discussing the challenges devolution still faces at the County levels. While addressing leaders at the Devolution conference in Kakamega from State House Nairobi, President Kenyatta said leaders must ensure that every cent is put to good use so that taxpayers can enjoy the benefits. The President said he won’t tolerate any delay in service delivery, wastage or corruption as he sets his eyes on delivering the Big Four Agenda.

Given that Universal Healthcare is one of the pillars in the Big Four Agenda, President Kenyatta said the quality of facilities and management of costs have to be done to ensure there is good management of the health sector. He said the issue of quality healthcare is known to each and every leader given the fact that medical contributions have been a common sight. He further directed NHIF to assign enrolment officers to all Counties, as the wings of medical cover spread further. He urged Governors to be quick to integrate medical services, “I want to see all of you working to prepare your health facilities so they are ready to receive supplies when they come,” he said.

The President indicated that affordable housing is also top of the agenda, saying they’ll have to cut on cost on mortgages and construction.

On Agriculture, he said the focus on agriculture should be made sharper, “We must no longer rely on rain-fed agriculture,” he quipped, saying they must rely on scientific data to drive policy interventions, to empower farmers and to increase returns on investments. President Kenyatta noted that the current challenge in food security arises from the preference of self-interests and not lack of knowledge.

The Big Four Agenda was on top of the itinerary throughout his speech and he admitted that the plan is very ambitious and Kenyans don’t want any delays and profligacy. The President said corruption will not be tolerated as a result, with all Governors setting out to achieve the Big Four target.

The Council of Governors chairman Josphat Nanok had the same view, saying the national governments and the County governments need to work together to ensure the Big Four Agenda is achieved. He said devolution has paved the way for women Governors, “The female Governors have given hope to women leaders that it’s not about gender. It has set the stage for women to run for positions in the next election,” said Nanok.