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Kenay: Wajir professionals slam Transition Authority’s ranking of counties

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

KENYA: Professionals from Wajir have expressed concern after a report by the Transition Authorityranked the county among the least prepared for devolution.

The professionals say the paltry 13 per cent given to the county may hamper the transfer of funds, which may end up derailing the process of devolution.

They queried the criteria used to rank the counties, wondering why neighbouring Mandera was rated at 80 per cent yet both have historically been marginalised.

“By giving Wajir 13 per cent, it means less than 10 per cent of the almost Sh6 billion allocated to the county will be withheld,” Ibrahim Rashid said.

Rashid’s concerns were shared by Dr Mohamed Yussuf Elmi who warned that if the TA applies the creation, the county will remain marginalised. The two wondered why Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi kept silent when his colleagues from the other counties were querying the process used to arrive at the ratings.

“We were shocked by the report that some of the county executives could not even answer the questionnaire when the report was being carried out,” Rashid, who is also the ODM National Elections Board member, said.

Under the transition law, Dr Elmi said, the ministry ofdevolution has a mandate of capacity building. TA said it based its assessment on devolved functions according to the fourth schedule of the Constitution and section 24 of the Transition to Devolved Government Act in arriving at the report dubbed “Quick Readiness Assessment (QRA)”.

The criteria include the existence of legislations, frameworks for service delivery, administrative units, conducting of capacity assessments, and further decentralisation of a function, infrastructural arrangements, and financial management systems and whether an approved plan is available.

The professionals said these services might never be achieved if the county government leadership does not engage elites and expatriates.

 “The governor needs to engage professionals and experts to come up with polices that will help bridge this wide gap and ensure that the county is not left behind,” Ibrahim said.


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