Contrary to cynics, the work done by county governments has revolutionalised development in Kenya, says Council of Governors chairman Peter Munya.
This comes as a major conference begins in Naivasha town, Nakuru County, on Tuesday, with more than 6,000 delegates discussing how devolution is transforming the country.
The fourth annual Devolution Conference, themed “Devolution – Transforming Lives: Tell Your Story”, is the last before the August 8 General Election. Last year’s was held in Meru.
Counties that have hosted the event are Kisumu in 2015 and Kwale, three years ago.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to officially preside over the event at the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute on Tuesday.
The conference will bring together the 47 governors, senators, MPs, members of the county assembly, diplomats, potential investors and business people.
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In the programme seen by the Nation, Mr Munya, the Meru governor, says: “Indeed, devolution is working.
“Devolution has given every child an opportunity to benefit from pre-primary education…farmers have been protected from cartels and unscrupulous agents while subsidised farm inputs have been supplied,” adds Mr Munya, however, adding that the gains have not been without challenges.
“Moving forward, we will lobby for the review of existing laws to minimise overlap of mandate, intensify and expand public participation as well as ensuring that all laws passed at the county level are supported by a policy framework.”
On Sunday, Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua said the county was ready to host the conference. Nakuru MCAs have adjourned for a week to enable them to attend the conference, resuming on March 14.
A host of key personalities has been lined up to speak at the event — including India’s Minister for Finance Arjun Ram Meghawal, who will deliver a message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as Mr Stefano Dejak, the European Union’s ambassador in Kenya, who also chairs the Devolution Donor Working Group.
Also in attendance will be the Rev Eliud Wabukala and Mr Wafula Chebukati, the heads of the anti-corruption commission and the electoral commission, respectively.
Others opposition leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka. Deputy President William Ruto will close the conference on Thursday.
Reports by Dave Opiyo, Magdalene Wanja, Eric Matara and Francis Mureithi