The devolved system of government was aimed at decentralizing power and increasing access to services across the country. In terms of creating a major departure in governance in the country, it has largely been a success. However, it is frustrated by serious challenges which if not addressed will raise questions about its political and economic viability.
To address these challenges, it is proposed as follows:
1. Retain all the 47 counties but encourage and assist counties to form regional economic blocks.
2. Increase resources to the countries by at least 35% of the last audited accounts.
3. When dividing revenue between the counties, use a formula that focuses on ensuring services reach the actual settlements of people so that resources are not allocated based on un-inhibited landmass.
4. Finalize the transfer of functions from the National to County Governments and eliminate all duplicity of functions between the two levels of government.
5. Follow the maxim “money follows functions” in allocating money between the two levels of government.
6. Parastatals carrying out County functions should be either wound up or restructured. This should be synchronized with the implementation of the already completed parastatal reforms policy.
7. Consider how Ward representatives can have oversight of funds intended for bursaries only while ensuring that CDF funds do not clash with the development imperatives of Counties
8. The running mate of every candidate for the position of Governor should be of the opposite gender.
9. Where a county fails to appoint a deputy within 90 days of a vacancy, the Speaker of the County Assembly shall, with the approval of the County Assembly, do so.
10. Limit arbitrary, nepotistic or crony recruitment of human resources that ignores merit and inclusivity by replicating the independence of the Public Service Commission in every County Service Board.
11. Transfer the health sector personnel element from County Governments to an independent Health Service Commission to enable the sharing of the very limited health experts.
12. Employ austerity measures at the National Hospital Insurance Fund to reduce the amount of money it spends on administrative costs and release more funds to assist counties deliver on health.
13. Draft and adopt a patient’s bill of rights to standardize the quality of health care across all counties.
14. Strengthen the oversight independence of County Assemblies by ensuring that the transmission and management of County Assembly budgets are insulated from arbitrary or politically-motivated interference by County Executives;
15. Limit the number of persons that a county government can employ to the number of people it serves and the functions its discharges.
16. Require new governments to complete the projects initiated by former governors by Treasury withholding funds for new projects unless old projects are completed. A Governor who wants to abandon an old project must have credible reasons to do so.
17. Counties to budget more development money to respond to specific needs in the Wards rather than granting a lump sum to Counties or constituencies. Commission on Revenue Allocation to change its revenue allocation formula to target wards in the County budgets.
18. Biashara mashinani — There should be high-priority efforts by every County to support local groups to develop businesses through partnerships. The County Government should ensure that small and emerging businesses are easy to start and that they find it easy to navigate regulations and bureaucracy and to get their goods to market in a timely way.