Devolution was touted as transformative with the potential to revolutionise the country and indicators are that the assessment was not misplaced.
Before devolution, centralised governance was rigid and selective in delivery, resulting in lopsided development. Devolution democratised decision-making, resource allocation and utilisation. This is the essence of having county assemblies and other devolved administrative structures.
But devolution has in a number of counties run into implementation headwinds, catalysed mainly by friction, backstabbing and inclinations towards self-gain.
At one point, the 11th Parliament sought to change the law to make MPs, and not MCAs, oversight governors and the executive when conflicts became rampant, threatening to imperil functions of counties. Reports of fiscal carnage by the Auditor General continue to emerge as do claims of bribery and wastage.
Feuding between MCAs and governors or Speakers is crippling operations. The pulling in different directions due to conflicted self-interests must end. There are cases of MCAs sabotaging county Executive or Assembly operations if not bribed. Other counties are rocked by partisanship as MCAs root for politicians with an eye on the governor’s position.
MCAs must stop derailing devolution and have a clearer vision of what their oversight role entails. Their impetuous demeanour and scorched earth campaigns are unacceptable. They must cut out the toxicity and engage maturely. The principles of discipline and transparency must guide their conduct.
Governors and speakers being accused of violation of the Constitution and abuse of office, particularly violation of Public Finance Management Act and Public Procurement and Disposal Act must also up their game. Not every criticism by MCAs is driven by ill will.
In the interest of checks and balances, there’s need for a common ground between interests of County Assemblies Forum and the plea by Speakers seeking Senate intervention to amend impeachment laws.
However, we are aware that with impeachment stalking them, some governors and Speakers have resorted to dubious ways of appeasement by varying budgetary proposals and engaging in overindulgent expenditures at the expense of prudent resource use.
There are cases where MCAs unable to manage personal finances eye trips and meetings opportunities as avenues to stake allowances claims without regard to audit imperatives.
The cornerstone of justice is premised on evidence of any wrong committed. Those with other parameters in seeking vengeance must get a taste of the law themselves. The avalanche of morbid fear the elderly in parts of this country have to shake off daily makes a mockery of the presumption of innocent till proven guilty.