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Governors want counties be allowed to borrow loans

The Council of Governors (CoG) now wants county governments to be allowed to borrow funds just like the National Government.

Speaking on Tuesday, November 10 after a consultative meeting on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report held in Naivasha, CoG Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya said that governors should be allowed to borrow funds but only for developmental purposes.

During a meeting that was supposed to be attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga, the governors proposed that the BBI report consider elevating the Senate to the upper house, with senators having veto powers over all Bills that pass through Parliament.

The county bosses have proposed a model, they say will, ensure timely release of funds to the counties. According to them, revenue impasse in the counties will be solved if a disbursement schedule is submitted to the Central Bank of Kenya by the Speaker of the Senate for implementation within 14 days of passage of division of revenue act.

Consequently, the governors propose that the office of the controller of budget should be decentralised in all the 47 county governments, to speed up the flow of funds in the devolved units. Any additional roles of the controller of budget, they say, should be limited to ensuring that funds disbursed are in conformity with the budget and not play auditor general functions.

When asked why Uhuru and Raila did not attend the meeting, the Kakamega governor vehemently refuted claims that the two snubbed their forum.

“What for? Why would they snub this meeting? Did I talk to you that they are coming? We have already being in consultation with the two principals, we will submit the report to them tomorrow,” said Oparanya.

Other proposals by the governors include;

  1. Position of deputy ministers should be introduced and they be picked from Parliament.
  2. Summit and national council for county legislatures should be entrenched in the Constitution
  3. Regional economic blocs should be entrenched in the Constitution.
  4. In addition to the 35%, all monies held by parastatals and national gov’t departments performing devolved functions should transferred to counties.
  5. County governments should ensure that not less than 10% of their total budget is allocated to agriculture, livestock and fisheries functions, not less that 30% is allocated to health functions, and 2.5% is allocated to youth functions.
  6. National Treasury should be established as an independent institution to serve both levels of government.
  7. IFMIS system should be adopted, one for National Government and another for county governments.
  8. An IEBC should be devolved to the 47 counties
  9. Deputy Governors should remain as running mates of governors
  10. ODPP, National Police Service to continue operating as they are in the current constitution.
  11. BBI proposals on judiciary OMBUDSMAN should be deleted.
  12. Removal of collective criminal responsibility management of resources at county level to allow for a personal criminal responsibility.
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