President Uhuru Kenyatta today said that the country is moving in the right direction with the implementation of devolution.
The President said substantial progress has been made through devolution and challenges that face its implementation will be confronted with unity between the National Government and counties.
President Kenyatta, who spoke at State House, Nairobi, Friday, when he chaired the 4th National and County Government Summit (Intergovernmental Summit), said the country’s leadership is committed to ensure devolution benefits Kenyans.
“We are moving in the right direction and devolution is working. We have challenges but we can say clearly we have made substantial progress,” said the President.
He added that the few challenges arising out of the implementation of the system were largely due to the fact that it is being implemented for the first time.
“All of us are committed to devolution. We have to admit that we are the pioneers and we have to confront the challenges so that future administrations find it working smoothly,” said the President.
The President said he was personally impressed by the development initiatives undertaken by county governments.
“Every Governor has a success story to tell of the achievements made through devolution,” said President Kenyatta in the meeting also attended by Deputy President William Ruto.
On his part, the Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya said tremendous gains have been made through devolution and called for even further cooperation between the National and County Governments to ensure stability and progress of the nation.
Munya, who is the Governor of Meru County, also commended President Kenyatta for raising Kenya’s profile over the recent years and in turn drawing international attention to Kenya as evidenced by the high profile visitors the country has hosted and the important international conferences held in Kenya.
“We thank the President for the many international forums taking place in Kenya and the important visitors hosted by the Government. This has given Kenya proper international focus, which is in turn attracting investors and tourists,” said Mr Munya.
Munya also welcomed the swearing-in of new Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries at State House, today, and gave an assurance that the Council of Governors will support the Cabinet in fulfilling its mandate to provide efficient public service delivery to Kenyans.
The Intergovernmental Summit was attended by Cabinet Secretaries and senior Government officials including Attorney General Githu Muigai, Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo and Chairman of the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution Charles Nyachae among others.
All governors except five who sent their apologies attended the Summit, which among other things discussed the issue of e-procurement that has brought some expenditure challenges at the county level.
The Summit decided to set up an intergovernmental team that will come up with recommendations to ensure that the e-procurement system is adopted by all counties by March next year.
As a stop gap measure, however, Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich announced that the National Treasury will enable counties spend their funds through an alternative system until March.
The intergovernmental team will also be tasked with dealing with other technical issues arising out the implementation of the devolved system of government.
The National and County Government Summit will reconvene in January for a two day retreat.