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Raila wants counties given monies  for all  devolved functions

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga now says money must follow all functions that have been devolved to the counties.

Raila lamented what he described as a continuing duplication of functions at the national and county governments 10 years after the transition to devolution.

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“More money continues to be spent at Afya House, Kilimo House, and Maji House in Nairobi for roles that are devolved. In the Finance Act 2023, the budget for Health has grown by Ksh32 billion at the national level. Recurrent expenditure alone has increased by 17 percent, yet most of the health functions are devolved,” he said

Speaking at the ongoing Devolution Conference in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu county, the opposition leader called on the national government to strictly adhere to the law and let county governments implement functions bestowed upon them by the constitution. He said counties must exercise control over funds meant for the said functions.

“Today, fertilizers are procured and distributed by the National Government. Affordable Housing is being conceptualized and implemented by the National Government. The national government wants to build markets and employ community health workers. All these are devolved functions whose monies should be released to the counties,” he said

Raila also addressed the issue of disbursements to devolved units. He said, for counties to continue to adequately respond to the needs of the people, they ought to be supported with “a tremendous amount of financial resources in a timely and predictable manner,”

“The National Government, therefore, needs to understand and appreciate counties as necessary partners in the journey for a successful Kenya. The problems and responsibilities the people and the counties face today demand that we reevaluate and strengthen our commitment to preserve the place of the county government and bestow it with the power, the authority, the responsibilities, and the revenues necessary to discharge those roles and meet expectations,” he reiterated

He further decried the occasional tug of war between the counties and national government, ten years into devolution, saying this needs to come to an end.

Challenges notwithstanding, Raila was quick to point out that Kenya is a much-transformed landscape with amazing opportunities for rural economic revival and transformation under the current system of governance.

“There is now economic life in rural areas. Some previously dead towns and market centers are beaming with life after devolution. The prospect of Kenyans taking charge of their destiny, and driving their own development, is alive today because of devolution,” he said

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