Kenyatta Warns County Leaders Against Selfishness


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“Kenyans do not care about the petty squabbles that we, as leaders, engage in. They elected each one of us expecting that we will serve them well but that will not be possible if all we do is bickering and apportioning blame to each other,” he said.

The President was addressing the inaugural Summit of the County Assemblies Forum (CAF) at Shanzu in Mombasa County yesterday.

The President cautioned the members of County Assemblies (MCAs) drawn from the country’s 47 counties that at the end of five years, the electorate will judge them not by the quarrels they engaged in but the services they delivered to Kenyans.

Responding to the members of County Assemblies’ calls for increased salaries and allowances, President Kenyatta said public resources are limited and the country has to prioritize the areas on which those resources should be directed to ensure maximum benefit to the people of Kenya.

“I acknowledge that you deserve to be paid more but we also have to take cognizance of the fact that we need to use those resources to expand the economy before we can increase our pay,” President Kenyatta told the MCAs, adding that patriotic leaders sacrifice personal interests for the common good.

Affirming the Jubilee Government’s commitment to the success of county governments, President Kenyatta said devolution is the cornerstone of the new Constitution and nobody will be allowed to curtail its implementation.

“Let us work together to implement the Constitution fully,” President Kenyatta said.

President Kenyatta pointed out that the Government, in its first year in office, allocated to county governments Kshs 210bn – about 32% of the national revenues, or more than double the 15% minimum provided in the Constitution.

He added that although the Constitution allowed a three-year grace period for the transition to the new system of government, the Jubilee Government adopted a decisive approach that transferred all devolved functions to counties within two months of coming to office.

On the debate about affirmative action, the President said the Constitutional provisions should be observed to ensure that women, the youth and people with disabilities get full representation at all levels of government.

He cited the example of his administration where women have been given powerful dockets including Foreign Affairs, Defence, Environment and Lands Ministries, among others.

“This is to show that we value women’s contribution to nation building. It also proves that women are capable of leading,” the President said.

Speaking during the occasion, Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru said the bedrock of devolution is the Constitution of Kenya 2010 –especially Chapters Ten and Eleven which elaborate on the architecture of and objectives of devolution.

“These provisions of the Constitution have been bolstered by laws developed by the Government and enacted by Parliament.These include: The County Governments Act, 2012; The Intergovernmental Relations Act, 2012; The Public Finance Management Act, 2012; The Transition to Devolved Government Act 2012; and The Urban Areas and Cities Act, 2011,” she said.

On women empowerment, the Devolution Cabinet Secretary said the Constitution stipulates that a minimum of one third of either gender must be represented in the composition of elected assemblies and in all government appointments.

She regretted that the constitutional principle of affirmative action has become the subject of attack in public debate.

“Properly understood, the role of women appointed under affirmative action is to formulate policies and to sponsor legislation that will empower their kind to stand on their own two feet. It is your role as nominated members of County Assemblies to free our mothers, our sisters and our daughters from this yoke of dependency,” Ms Waiguru said.

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said people who opposed devolution were not necessarily unpatriotic but they were limited in vision and Members of County Assemblies must provide that vision.

Other speakers included Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, Senator Omar Hassan, County Assemblies Forum Chairman Dr. Nuh Nassir and Governors’ Council Chairman Mr. Isaac Ruto.

Earlier, President Kenyatta addressed students at Shanzu Teachers College where he urged them to work hard to excel in their studies.

He said teachers played a crucial role in the fight against negative ethnicity.

The President also made a stopover at Shanzu town to acknowledge greetings from residents and assured them that the Government would resolve the land problems in the area.


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