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“Subject prospective governors to special primary vetting to strengthen devolution” – Opiyo Wandayi

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Ugunja MP and Public Accounts Committee Chairman Opiyo Wandayi has proposed far reaching changes within political party regulations for gubernatorial nominations.

Speaking during a working tour of his constituency in Siaya County, Hon Wandayi proposed that political parties party to form special vetting panel to specifically interview and vet prospective gubernatorial candidates prior to primaries.

The work of the panel should be different from that of electoral boards of respective parties which vet all positions including for members of the county assembly.

Wandayi said his proposal was informed by the importance of attaining effective devolution at the grassroots and the fact that substantial resources are being pumped into counties each year to spur local development.

Kenya’s 47 counties have gobbled up approxinately Sh1.5 trillion in five years of devolution in what has seen significant redistribution of resources.

The national government has so far sent at least Sh1.2 trillion to the devolved units in the period, an amount equal to what the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) collects from taxpayers per annum.

According to data from the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), devolved units also generated an additional Sh100 billion through local taxes charged within their jurisdictions.

In addition, counties have also been attracting additional allocations from the national government in form of conditional grants. Donor agencies such as Danida and other development partners such as the World Bank have also been directly pumping hundreds of millions every year into devolution.

It is this vast sums of money Wandayi says prompted him to propose political parties to take a more proactive role in ensuring accountability and effective management of these resources by individuals they nominate to be elected governors.

Further more, according to Wandayi, political parties have a role to play in ensuring the strengthening of devolution as a solution to the political challenges we continue to face.

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