News and Events

Deputy President Ruto urges Legislators execute their Mandate with Diligence

Deputy President Hon. William Ruto has asked Senators and Members of the County Assembly to discharge their constitutional mandate with diligence.

The Deputy President who spoke when opening the 3rd Annual Legislative Summit at the Pride Inn Paradise Resort, Mombasa, noted that the success of devolution  largely depends on how  legislators, both at the national and county level, execute their mandates.

“You are the people who manage devolution and speak on behalf of ordinary Kenyans. You need to assist us eliminate the cancer of marginizaltion,” said DP Ruto.

Lauding the Senate and the County Assemblies’ Forum for organizing the Summit, the Deputy President observed that the partnership between Senate and County Assemblies had yielded meaningful capacity development adding that more counties are now allocating more money to development programs as a result of improved capacity.

“Legislators are central in the implementation of the Constitution as they translate the letter and spirit of the Constitution into laws and policies in a manner that reflects the wishes and aspiration of the people. They therefore need to have their capacities developed to be effective in this role,” he stated.

Noting that over 13 counties have in the current financial year spent Kshs.550 Million in legal fees, he called for an alternative dispute resolution mechanism in line with the already established laws. He further suggested that the Senate considers enacting a legislation on litigation in counties in order to save counties resources.

Speaking into the matter of counties underperformance in generating own revenue collection, the Deputy President noted that this had led to a huge pending bill by the county government (amounting to Kshs. 99 billion currently. He advised the Members of the County Assemblies to establish effective internal audit mechanisms. “MCAs have a duty of oversight. They should be able to hold county executives accountable. The best way to support your government, is to hold it accountable,” he said. He also appealed to counties to earnestly work with the National government so to realize the Big Four Agenda.

Earlier the Speaker of the Senate Sen. Kenneth Lusaka, who welcomed the Deputy President to address the lawmakers who included 40 senators and hundreds of MCAs from all parts of the country, appealed to the state to ensure county funds are disbursed promptly.

“Inordinate delay translates into costly overdrafts and political ill will from disillusioned service providers,” he said and added that the devolved units should intensify their revenue collection and seal all financial loopholes,” he observed.

He revealed that the Senate has proposed the creation of two cash disbursement schedules; one for the equitable share and the other for conditional grants, to ensure that there is no delay in remitting of funds like it occurred in last financial years.

Noting that there is need for counties to sell a different image of the county assemblies, he called upon them to take their oversight and watchdog functions seriously. “Let people know that MCAs do budgeting and oversight functions at the county level,” he urged.

Speaker Lusaka also divulged that Senate is ready to pass the County Pensions Bill and the Ward Development Fund and will not interfere with the powers of the county assemblies when they are performing their budget making role.

Speaking at the forum, the Chairperson of the County Assemblies’ Forum (CAF) Hon. Johnson Osoi noted that there has been immense improvement of the inter-governmental relations. He implored upon the Senate to pass the Bill on the pension scheme for the Counties and the Inter-governmental relations (Amendment) Bill, to give CAF a legal backing. He also urged that the Senate considers incorporating the Women Caucus within the formal structures.

The opening ceremony was also graced by Devolution Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, the Chairperson of the Council of Governors, Governor Josphat Nanok, Kilifi Governor and Jeffah Kingi, among others.

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