Thursday, 08 June 2023 13:19


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The Council of Governors (CoG) on 19th May 2023 held a special Council meeting to deliberate on matters of common interest to County Governments including the establishment of County Aggregated and Industrial Parks; the implementation of devolved health functions and; absorption of resources by Counties due to delayed disbursement of the Equitable Share.
Speaking during a consultative meeting with the Trade and Industrialization CS Hon. Moses Kuria, CoG Chair H.E. Anne Waiguru noted that the Aggregated and Industrial parks would boost agricultural production and increase Counties’ capacity to establish and develop profitable industrial enterprises.
“The financing of the Aggregation and Industrial Parks will be jointly undertaken by the National Government and County Governments while the Counties will be the primary implementers,” added Governor Waiguru while addressing members of the press after the meeting.
On health, Governors raised alarm over the planned takeover of the health function from the Counties amidst deliberate attempts by the National Government to undertake key roles assigned to County Governments. This is in gross violation of the Constitution and claws back on the gains made in the health sector over the last 10 years.
Areas singled out by the Council Chair H.E. Waiguru as the most affected by undue interference by the Ministry of Health include: Primary Health Care delivery; engagement of Community Health Promoters (CHPs); establishment of Primary Care Networks (PCNs); creation of institutions and authorities within the health sector and; proposed amendments and legislations that are against the spirit of devolution.
“We urge the National Government to desist from clawing back on the health functions and stop invading County Governments’ roles,” she added further calling upon development partners to refrain from supporting and funding National Government Ministries and interventions on devolved functions, particularly in health and agriculture.
In addition, Governors warned of a looming crisis in approximately 121 County-run health facilities owing to inadequate maintenance and servicing of equipment under the Managed Equipment Service (MES) programme.
“We call upon the Ministry of Health to urgently extend the MES contracts or find an alternative solution to ensure quality healthcare for all Kenyans and effective health service delivery,” added the Chair, of CoG Health Committee H.E. Muthomi Njuki during the press briefing.
During the Council meeting, Governors also engaged the Office of the Controller of Budget to discuss County budget implementation and absorption of funds due to delayed disbursements. This comes even as the County chiefs had previously threatened to shut down Counties should the Exchequer fail to release owed funds.
To this end, the National Treasury disbursed March 2023 allocations on 24th May 2023. Arrears are as follows: Kshs.33.3 billion owed to 47 Counties for April 2023 allocations and Kshs.31.45 billion owed to 47 Counties for May 2023 allocations.
With barely one month to the close of the 22/23 FY, the National Treasury is yet to disburse a total of Ksh. 64.75 billion to Counties, contrary to the mutual agreement made during a meeting held between CoG and National Treasury on 2nd May 2023.
“The delay in the release of County funds has severely impacted the implementation of County budgets and crippled service delivery in the devolved units. We urge the National Treasury to expedite the release of all pending monies owed to Counties,” noted the Chair, CoG Finance Committee H.E. Ferdinand Barasa during the meeting.
The Council of Governors remains committed to safeguarding the tenets of devolution and calls upon all stakeholders to work together to ensure its success for the benefit of all Kenyans.

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