Eyes on Ruto-led intergovernmental body as agency admits disputes over functions

Eyes on Ruto-led intergovernmental body as agency admits disputes over functions
Eyes on Ruto-led intergovernmental body as agency admits disputes over functions

Africa-Press – Kenya. Eyes are now set on a top agency chaired by President William Ruto to resolve devolved functions disputes between national and county governments.

The Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee – the agency that identified devolved functions for transfer– has admitted the existence of ‘small’ disputes between the two levels of government.

Chairman Kithinji Kiragu said the team will present the disputes to the National and County Governments Coordinating Summit.

He spoke during a press conference in Nairobi on Friday.

“There are one or two issues. They are very small. I would say out of maybe about 540 functions that we have unbundled, 10 per cent do not have issues,” Kiragu said.

He said the Committee will submit its report to the summit with clear recommendations on how to resolve the issues.

“The ones we have not resolved, IGRTC will carry them to the Summit the President and governors’s summit with recommendations and we hope we will agree,” the chairman said.

The Summit, the apex body of intergovernmental relations, is chaired by the President with the Chairperson of the Council of Governors as its Vice Chairperson.

The body brings together the top leadership of the national government executive and all the 47 governors.

Kiragu, however, revealed that IGRTC will gazette functions that have not attracted any disputes to pave the way for their transfer to the counties.

“Therefore, we are ready to gazette the 90 per cent functions that we have resolved,” the chairman said.

Last year, the IGRTC was forced to recall a gazette notice that it had published detailing several devolved functions that it had identified for transfer.

The development follows a report by IGRTC that recommended the release of functions worth Sh272.2 billion from the MDAs to the devolved units.

However, the report and the subsequent gazette notice was disputed by the national government.

In December last year, President Ruto ordered IGRTC to engage stakeholders and conclude the process in two months to avert a looming clash and court battles over the functions.

Meanwhile, the committee has convened a three-day second intergovernmental relations symposium in Naivasha next week.

The conference themed, The state of intergovernmental relations, consolidating and deepening devolution in Kenya, will happen between March 4 and 6.

It seeks to deepen the understanding of the role of intergovernmental relations in making devolution work for Kenya.

It also seeks to determine the adequacy of legislation relating to IGR, theory and practice

The meeting will allow the stakeholders to deliberate on issues of intergovernmental relations in the Kenyan devolved system of governance.

The stakeholders will review the challenges and gaps affecting the effectiveness of intergovernmental relations.

“They will make recommendations on how institutions from both levels of government can be enhanced for proper execution of their duties on devolution matters,” IGRTC said.

The conference will be opened by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, and graced by among others, speakers Moses Wetangula and Amason Kingi.

The first Intergovernmental Relations Workshop was held on December 3-5, 2018, at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel in Kisumu county.

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