What people expect from the governors

The inauguration of newly elected governors started on Thursday and continues for the next couple of days across the country.

This marks the beginning of the second term of the county system.

Expectations are high. Governors must deliver on the devolution promise that proved elusive in the first term.


The essence of devolution is to give power to the people. The first term had mixed results.

Some successes were realised, but the experience was also bad.

Initially, the failures of the county governments were attributed to lack of structures.

It was argued that the new teams were taking over from erstwhile dysfunctional civic authorities and required time to get things right.

To their credit, the first crop of governors set up the foundations for devolved governance.


They fought hard to get a reluctant central government to disperse resources and responsibilities to the grassroots.

However, they also left the public rather disillusioned.

Counties quickly became the hub for pilferage of public resources.

Grand projects were initiated but never completed, as they became conduits for siphoning cash.


Some governors kept permanently fighting with members of county assemblies over resource control and allocation.

Employment and contracts were dished out to homeboys and loyalists.

The ills associated with the national government had come down to the counties.

The governors have a chance to make a difference this time round.

They have to build upon the foundations and grow devolution to maturity.


Financial prudence is imperative. Appointments and contracts must go to the most deserving.

Most importantly, citizens must get the services they deserve.

Whereas the national government is obligated to allocate money to the counties, in principle, devolution requires counties to generate their own revenues to guarantee self-sufficiency.


This is the time to exploit and harness the potential to do so.

We want to see real change in the counties that gives meaning to devolution.

The new governors have the first 100 days to prove their mettle.

They must do everything to make the second term a turning point for devolution.

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