Devolution is the real bottom-up, outgoing CS Wamalwa tells President Ruto
Outgoing Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has called for an alternative way to address devolved functions, following the scrapping of the ministry by President William Ruto.
While naming his cabinet of 22 Cabinet Secretaries earlier in the week, President Ruto said devolution functions will now fall under the duties of Deputy Rigathi Gachagua.
But speaking on Tuesday during the handing over Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) functions back to the County Government of Nairobi, Mr Wamalwa said devolution is the reality of his bottom-up transformation approach to the economy.
The CS also said devolution goes hand in hand with President Ruto’s economic agenda.
“I want to urge the new administration because it is a bottom-up administration, that the real bottom-up is devolution. When we take the resources back to the bottom, when we strengthen these counties, we can turn them into engines of social-economic transformation of our country,” Wamalwa said.
Mr Wamalwa also said the Council of Governors (CoG) should now be strengthened to address issues of devolution.
“The only issue that I would urge is to see how we can strengthen CoG, and this I want to task Governor Sakaja. We must and we have already done the ground work of ensuring the legal and the policy framework to strengthen CoG, to anchor in law the secretariat, make it better so that in the absence of a Minister for Devolution, CoG should enable the secretariat to do their work properly,” he said.
He added that a good intergovernmental relation, which is the heart of devolution, should be strengthened by the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC), a body formed by an act of parliament to establish a framework for consultation.
“With those amendments done, even if we do not have a Minister for Devolution, we will be able to ensure that the devolution agenda is progressed to the next level,” he said.
The CS further said since the devolution docket was created, a lot of transformations have been made in counties, and that the functions of the ministry have been witnessed.
The Ministry of Devolution was created to support the County Governments through policy formulation, capacity support, and intergovernmental relations.