In 2010 a year that Kenya went down to history as first African country with a lot of ethnicity differences to put back such differences and bring a common goal into being. This goal was the birth of the new constitution that was until today seen as one of many success that a nation can achieve.
Our constitution gave us a lot of pride that even a lot of African countries wanted to emulate what Kenya had already achieved. Some African countries are still sending in experts to benchmark on our constitution.
Kenyan constitution of 2010 gave us two forms of government, the national government and the county government. While the national government controls national resources our county governments were entitled by the constitution to bring development close to people.
Six years since the devolved government began in 2013. Some county governments have made tremendous efforts to ensure it brings services to people. While others are still struggling to tally with the best there seems to be an elephant in the house.
According to treasury 47 county governments usually receives up to Sh. 1 trillion every financial year. County bosses have been coiled in a report showing billions of shillings disappearing in thin clouds. Some counties have been awarding contracts that end up unfinished or completely not done. In Nairobi a contract worth Sh. 8.9million was awarded for construction of county secretary residency but was completely not done.
Reports by the Auditor general Edward Ouko has revealed that some county have portrayed massive plunders of public finances. A hearted argument has come up in public domain that these funds could have been used for development agenda in counties.
While ward representatives on many occasions have been on limelight for making trips to get allowances for benchmarking projects that they never come to implement back at home, Ouko in his report has revealed that some MCAs have on many occasions been paid on trips they never went for.
In some counties like Machakos auditor general said it failed to explain an expenditure of Sh. 119 million paid to staff as salaries in the previous financial year. In Trans Nzoia last month a delegation of 40 members traveled to Rwanda for Bench mark how Rwanda survived the genocide in 1994. It took the county government of Trans Nzoia Sh. Million for the same trip in 10 days. While Nairobi county government did not bank Sh.69.5 it generated from revenues. The same Nairobi County spent Sh. 510 million on goods and services and failed to record Sh. 207millionin the ledger book.
Kenyans have been waking up to news that links most county government to huge loss of public funds that could have otherwise been used to improve infrastructures to people. In Mombasa county reports shows that in by 2017 it had lost Sh. 7billion due to inaccuracy in filling financial records with Lamu county and Kwale also being implicated in massive irregularities in its report.
While the constitution has mandated senators as the county watch dogs with the powers of summoning governors to shed lights on various county issues. Most governors have always rejected to appear before the senate committees sight political influences from some of the senators whom governors claim they have interests of taking there county jobs.
During governors first term in office, Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya refused to appear before the senate committee sitting political influence from the senator Dr. Bonny Khalwale who was the chair of public accounts and investments committee in the senate. This was another side show of leaders failing to take responsibilities what they have been mandated to by the constitution.
In Bungoma county residents wake up to a serious joke that a county wheelbarrow had cost Sh. 108, 000 per and the county had acquired several of them making the government of former governor and current senate speaker to lose millions of cash.
With the above reports it shocks the nation that some of this money lost if it could have been utilized properly then most projects could be completed by now. A view of things in counties reveals stalled projects. For example in Trans Nzoia two major projects of governor Khaemba has simply stalled or taken more time than the expected time frame. The much hyped ultra-modern stage that had been budgeted millions of money is yet to be completed with more than 4 years now. Another project for Khaemba with a lot of controversy is the county teaching and referral hospital that is yet to begin operations 6years now.
There has been a lot of public outcry that county members of assembly are in the center of corruption blames. With constitution allowing them to impeach whoever that comes their way. In not less than three months Nairobi county speaker was impeached on unclear circumstance, shortly after Kakamega followed.
While in Embu first term of governor wambora was full of impeachment threats, He was impeached twice but was saved by the senate committee under the leadership of then Kakamega senator, while in Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana almost dissolved the county government due to a looming internal attacks. All this was because members of county assemblies were denied some things they had interest in.
Most counties have been having a problem of ghost workers. Millions have been used to pay ghost workers. Other governors have been accused of employing there close relatives.
This has been killing the spirit of devolution on a serious note. The council of governors instead of defending corrupt governors like the incident we saw with Busia Governor Sospeter Ojamong, it should come up to condemn corruption in counties with the strongest terms possible. Funds that have been squandered in counties could have made Kenya to realize its dream by now.