Political Commentator Gabriel Muthuma has urged county governors and Members of County Assembly (MCAs) to refrain from tug of war which can undermine their service delivery to the people who elected them to offer proper leadership.
The political television analyst said various projects running into billions of shillings have stalled across the country as governors fight with senators and ward representatives for control of county governments.
"The unwarranted infightings between Governors and Memberss of County Assemblies may become a stumbling block on devolution. As much as they are elective positions, They'll definitely overturn it. MCAs must accept that they can't usurp the role of Governors and the latter must ensure enough access for consultation." said Muthuma
"Even where roles are clearly stipulated a fusion of mutual respect and consideration MUST be emphasized. Otherwise devolution will always encounter turbulence." added the vibrant policy and governance expert.
Despite separation of powers and responsibilities between the executive and county assemblies, there seems to be no end to the bickering between Governors MCAs.
At the heart of this is who between the two should have the final say on the county budget.
The devolution and public finance management acts vest the responsibility of county planning and budgeting on the executive.
"Due to their ‘wide’ constituencies, governors tend to prioritise countywide projects over ward-based projects. On the other hand, MCAs see in the budget a chance to do something for their wards because they too made promises that must be fulfilled." he remarked
He further called for financial autonomy and capacity building of county assembly committees to enable them to oversee county government expenditure.
"Unless the assembly is in good books with the governor it can't operate because that is where they get the finances from.Many functions have been devolved and the challenges have been with issues of oversight" he said
He was speaking in the wake of exoneration of Meru governor Kawira Mwangaza by the Senate after Impeachment motion had been tabled at the Parliament seeking to remove her from the office on grounds alleged nepotism, illegal appointments and sacking of employees.
In Governor Mwangaza’s case, she had cut off all informal links with ward representatives demanding that MCAs write a formal letter requesting a ward development fund and explaining how it should be implemented within the law.
The Senate Special Committee, led by Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, said that none of the allegations raised against her by Meru County Assembly Members could be substantiated or proved by the Senate.