Revv22's Blog

November 8, 2011

who voted for ‘county administration’?

Filed under: Uncategorized — revv22 @ 7:17 am
Provincial Administrators in a meeting

Provincial Administrators in a meeting

I read a grand mischief in the Interim Report of the Task Force on Devolution that was presented to the Constitution Implementation Committee a while back. I understand the report was more than three hundred pages long and touched on matters a variety of issues in devolution, finance to administration.

When it was presented, a number of people sited some concerns over the
proposed position of “County Administrator” and the proposed plans on financial devolution.
Discussions on the former soon disappeared as all public debate focused on the finance proposals which became a chest thumping contest between two gorillas; Local Govt ministry and Treasury(Finance ministry). They caused such a racket to the extent that the IMF, if I remember correctly, was dragged into the middle of it.
Now, am not in any way more qualified than my barber on matters of finance and economic planning, so I won’t even dare suggest that there are a number of countries, African and Western, who have managed federal finance in more polarised situations that we can learn from.
I won’t dare touch on the financial matters also because doing so will serve the continued muzzling of the discussions on “county administration”.
The constitution as promulgated by Kenyans in 2010 had the overwhelming support of the public majored by its spirit and will on devolution. The decentralised system of governance is exactly what Kenya needed in ensuring equitable resource distribution as it would end the injustice done by patronage and political “correctness”. It finally put a stop to the vicious trans-generational inheritance of the colonial public administration system that was put in place to ensure that central government could micro-manage every aspect of life even at the grass root.
The “county administration” system comes across as the same public administration only re-branded, as is the case with the new Kenya Power, new logo same service. The permanent secretary for internal security is on record stating that the residences, home and office, currently occupied by the provincial administrators will be reserved for the incoming county administrators, who I understand will be under the internal security docket. This. In essence means that special budgetary allocations will have to be made, just to ensure that the governors offices will be accommodated. The most logical thing would be for the central government to finance the construction projects. Will the financing be in form of loans awarded to county governments in the spirit of semi autonomy?

As much as am totally against the Idea of county Administrators, it seems it may be necessary to have a stronger national government presence in some volatile areas such as Isiolo where the communities in competition for meagre resources don’t seem like they would ever peacefully engage in county politics.

In the end however, we need to be more vigilant with the way devolution implementation will be conducted, lest we fall back into the same problems all over again.



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