KNA Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka has called upon county leaders to discharge their mandate with accountability and total discipline when putting public resources into use.
Lusaka made the call during the launch of Baringo County assembly (2021-2025) strategic plan at a Lake Bogoria resort on Friday, where he challenged leaders tasked to represent wananchi at the various devolved units to stop engaging in corrupt practices because it is the greatest impediment to gains made in devolution.
“We must at all times guard ourselves from any forms of temptations that will disadvantage the Kenyan populations in our respective counties,” he said.
Lusaka stated that the essence of devolution was to assist the people from disadvantaged counties to grow economically through provisions of opportunities and more resources.
He pointed out that those leaders who would have not discharged their mandate well will be judged by what they have done and their track record will be their defendant if they were to retain their respective positions.
County Assemblies Forum (CAF) chair Ndegwa Wahome stated that devolution is under threat by external and internal forces who are unhappy with the successes of devolution.
Wahome who took the podium to point out tribulations some devolved functions were undergoing claimed that Nyandarua county assembly for example is faced with intimidations from both the governor and security apparatus, who have gone ahead to suppress him and some MCAs to a point they have been expunged from the county payroll register allegedly for no apparent reason.
The Nyandarua County speaker stated that such acts should be looked into by the senate under the leadership of Lusaka so as not jeopardize the transformations of devolution.
Baringo county governor Stanley Kiptis stated that devolution is a work in progress, thus it needs sober minded leaders who can keenly look into some of the checks and balances and formulate policies that will make it even better.
The governor pointed out challenges like lack of retirement benefits for first term governors and their deputies, as well as county assembly speakers as some areas that need to be looked into before the next general elections.
He stated that if such matters can be addressed, it will cushion some leaders from becoming beggars after exiting office and it will also enable sitting ones to fully focus on serving the electorates without any anxiety of stealing from them to enrich their uncertain future.
Baringo assembly speaker David Kiplagat stated that the strategic plan was an improvement from the previous strategic plan and it seeks to identify gaps and areas of improvement taken to strengthen the institutional capacity of the assembly.
Kiplagat flanked by assembly clerk Richard Koech noted that the five-year strategic plan has taken cognizant of the effects of Covid 19 through utilization of Information Communication and Technology infrastructure development to enable the assembly to run its legislation process even despite the adverse effects of Covid 19 pandemic.
Vice chair of societies of clerks at the table Jane Mutai applauded the assembly for the strategic plan saying it was in line with the national values and principles of good governance and its implementation will enhance peaceful coexistence amongst the people.
Baringo chambers of commerce chairperson Elisha Kiplagat called on the county assembly to consider the business community and professionals in the implementation of the strategic plan to be realized.
Kiplagat who was representing the Kenya National Chambers of commerce vice president Erick Rutto added that the gap will be bridged if devolved units can consider setting favorable bills that would support the common mwananchi from the ravages of Covid 19 pandemic