Close

EXPERT COMMENT

NO clear boundary between county and national government projects

In Summary

• There is already duplication of functions between the national and county governments.

• Second observation is that there is still no clarity on who is supposed to do what in the Big Four.

CS Rotich displays budget case at Treasury House
CS Rotich displays budget case at Treasury House
Image: ENOS TECHE

One of the issues I have noticed in the budget is that the minister wants to cover everything financially.

The biggest concern is that we might need to push further.

I know through the Big Four, there is a bit of prioritisation and the minister seems to be creating a lot of things that may not relate to each other.

Why for instance, is the minister creating new institutional arrangements and infrastructures for carrying out programmes already performed by public institutions?

There is already duplication of functions between the national and county governments.

My second observation is that there is still no clarity on who is supposed to do what in the Big Four.

There seems to be a very determined and spirited effort by the national government to implement projects that are already part of county functions.

There are things that did not come out clearly in the minister's speech. For instance, what would be the role of county governments on the issues to do with universal health coverage?  Who has the primary mandate on agriculture as far as food security is concerned? Who has a bigger mandate as far as housing planning and a bit of how land allocation in relation to housing policy is concerned?

Those connections between the different institutions, I think might be a challenge.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Another issue that is not clear is the whole area of SMEs. This has to do with the big appetite of the government to borrow locally.

Because we have been having liquidity challenges from international borrowing then SMEs will continue to compete unfairly.

You can see the Youth Enterprise Fund and the Uwezo Fund have been merged into one. But the bigger question is how have the Uwezo Fund, Youth Fund and Women Fund performed?

The repayment rates have been very low. The worry has not been the provision of government credit, but also the mechanism.

There is a positive in terms of trying to balance the taxation, especially limiting how much of locally produced goods are imported.

But again as you know the players in that sector are very powerful and wield immense influence.

The Country Manager,International Budget Partnership-Kenya spoke to the Star. The views are his own.