Governors want MCAs powers reduced

Embu governor Martin Wambora (Centre) with various county leaders. /FILE
Embu governor Martin Wambora (Centre) with various county leaders. /FILE

More funds and the control over all road projects top governors priorities as they finalise demands to be included in the proposed referendum.

Embu Governor Martin Wambora said they will also seek to reduce the powers of MCAs. “We have a committee at the Council of Governors, which is working on that,” he told the Star.

Wambora, who has survived two impeachments, said it was difficult for county executives to work with constant threats of impeachment from MCAs.

He said the governors will lobby to have the equitable share of revenue from the national government based on the last financial year, rather than the last audited accounts.

Counties currently receive at least 15 per cent of the ordinary revenue for the last audited financial year. “The problem is that the National Assembly can sit on the Auditor General’s reports for a long time,” Wambora said.

The Sh314 billion allocated to counties in the 2018-19 financial year was based on the 2013-14 audited accounts. That means the state based the allocation on Kenya’s Sh935.7 billion revenue collections in 2013-14, instead of the Sh1.141 trillion actual revenue collection in 2015-16.

Embu receives about Sh4.4 billion from the national government every year. “But one ministry, like the Ministry of Health, receives about Sh60 billion, yet health is devolved.” He said Nigeria’s 36 states get about 35 per cent of revenue. In some European countries, counties get more than 60 per cent on national budget.

Wambora said handing over road functions to counties will hasten development. He said road promises made to Embu residents have not been fulfilled more that 50 years later.

He cited the Embu-Kibugu road which was proposed for tarmacking by Gerishon Mbogoh, the first post-independence MP for Embu North, in 1964.

The road that provides access to the agriculturally rich Manyatta region, was only tarmacked in 2016 by the county government of Embu. “National government projects can take a very long time to implement,” Wambora said.