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Time for governors to deliver the goods

It’s now all systems to go as governors get down to work.

The task ahead is heavy and they have no excuse but to deliver.

Increasingly, the focus is shifting from the central to county governments because they have the potential to become engines for economic, social and political development.

PROMISES

The first term was a period for laying the foundation for devolution; the second is for take-off.

During campaigns, the governors made solemn promises and commitments, including policy reforms, infrastructure development and service delivery.

This is the time for execution.

With the benefit of hindsight, the incoming governors are better informed about the challenges of the office.

FINANCE

During the first term, counties suffered due to inadequate financial allocations and irregular disbursements. 

They did not have systems and skilled personnel.

They have now turned the corner and are well-positioned to execute their mandates.

They must institute stringent financial controls and transparent procurement.

CORRUPTION

By end of the first term, nearly all the counties reported huge financial losses.

Several governors were implicated in corrupt deals.

Worse, county officials and members of county assemblies became notorious for foreign travels through which counties lost huge sums of money without any tangible returns.

Second, counties must entrench transparency and merit in their operations.

REVENUE

No longer should jobs and contracts be given out to homeboys and cheerleaders, but to the most deserving.

It is encouraging that some counties have signalled, at least, that they will advertise all jobs and contracts and allocate them only to those who qualify and by the principles of equity and balance.

Third, counties must generate own revenues and stop relying on the central government for their upkeep.

PROGRESS

This requires strategic thinking and effective execution. In sum, counties must a chart a new path.

It is not for no reason that more than half of the governors were sent home – it was a matter of retribution – voters have no time for non-performers.

After inauguration, governors must quickly settle down to work, deliver results and make devolution a reality.

A new way for collective development in Kenya

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