Kenyans expect efficient and effective service delivery from devolved units not endless political bickering, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
The President said it is unfortunate that Kenyans are being bombarded with political rhetoric instead of enjoying proper and quality services from county governments.
“The reason why Kenyans voted for the new Constitution was to entrench devolution so that they can receive good services. It is unfortunate that politics has taken centre stage. It is about service delivery not what we share,” President Kenyatta said today when he met with Commissioners on Revenue Allocation (CRA) at State House, Nairobi.
The president is concerned that Kenyans receive utmost return for the investment they are making in terms of taxes, which is why this has to be reflected in service delivery.
The Commissioners, who were led by their chairperson Jane Kiringai, briefed the President on how they intend to execute their mandate to ensure Kenyans fully enjoy the fruits of devolution system.
“Kenyans were not interested in politics but on how resources are being utilised to improve service delivery,” the President added.
The President asked the Commission to single out devolved functions and determine funds required to facilitate service delivery.
He assured of his full commitment to devolution, saying its intention was good from the onset and urged the Commission to focus itself on really issues as mandated by the Constitution.
“We should not just share revenue, let us look at the functions. We should ask ourselves have we allocated enough funds to the specified function or not?” the President asked.
The Commission on Revenue Allocation derives its mandate from Article 216 of the Constitution which allows it to make recommendations on equitable basis for revenue sharing among county governments.
The Head of State also urged members of the Commission to visit all counties and see for themselves challenges facing Kenyans in different parts of the country before coming up with the policy and framework to share the resources.
“We created an issue on marginalization. Whereas there are places which were marginalized in terms of development, we need to realize that there are people who are very poor in all counties and what they require is services which can help uplift their living standards,” said the President.
The President singled out slum areas like Kondele in Kisumu, Kibera, Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Mukuru Kayaba, Mukuru kwa Reuben in Nairobi, Bangladesh in Mombasa, Ndeiya in Kiambu and some parts of Eldoret town where Kenyans live in abject poverty and require deliberate efforts to improve their lives.
“Visit these areas and ask yourselves as to whether you are giving enough money to counties to sort out these areas or not,” the Head of State told the Commissioners.
He said due to politics poor Kenyans continue suffering and yet there are funds which need to be utilised to carter for them.
The President called on CRA commissioners to critically look at various devolved funds managed by political leaders to ensure monies allocated to them are properly managed for the benefit of Kenyans.
“You should check how the resources which Kenyans have given as taxes are being utilised,” President Kenyatta urged the CRA Commissioners.
He asked the Commission to help the Government enforce policy on prudent management of resources so as to create synergy between the national and county governments as they complement each other.
The Head of Public Service and Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua and National Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge also attended the meeting.