Devolution in Kenya: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Samuel Ngigi, Doreen Nekesa Busolo


The adoption of devolved system of government in Kenya was a desire of citizens who wanted access to public services closer to them. The objects of devolution as provided for in Articles 174 and 175 of the Constitution about promotion of democracy and accountability in the exercise of power, fostering national unity by recognizing diversity, enhancing people’s self-governance, enabling communities manage their own affairs, protecting and promoting interests and rights of minorities and the marginalized and ensuring equitable sharing of resources. To achieve these, there must be framework put in place and enabling environment provided to all stakeholders involved in implantation of devolution. However, the environment for implementation of devolution has not been smooth due to various challenges experienced for the past five years. Issues like disagreements between the National Government and County government over funding for County functions, poor or absence of consultation on matters that affect County Governments, little technical support for the implementation of functions, insufficient allocations and delayed disbursements of funds to Counties by the National Treasury, lack of capacity and skills to deliver services, corruption, lack public participation, gender inequality are some of the challenges this paper is going to analyze. It is clear that these challenges have affected the implementation of devolution in Kenya. To achieve the goal of devolution there should be a better working relationship between the two levels of government. Parliament, County Governments, the IGRTC, the  Ministries, Independent Offices and  Commissions, civil society- all should work together in the spirit of Article 6(2) for the good of devolution.

DOI: 10.7176/PPAR/9-6-02

Publication date:June 30th 2019

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