Recurrent expenditure, corruption tops agenda in Devolution Conference

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Ways on cutting high budgetary allocation to recurrent expenditure in counties are among the key agenda during the sixth Devolution Conference in Kirinyaga County.

Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa said huge chunks of devolved resources are being channelled to recurrent expenditure with some counties spending up to over 80 per cent of their budgets on salaries.

Wamalwa said this is not what Kenyans expected when devolution was started but they expected more resources in the grassroots to develop counties.

“A situation where you have very little going towards development is a matter of great concern,” Wamalwa said.

He said another threat to devolution is corruption which is taking away as much or even more than what is actually being spent.

“We have also devolved corruption. Unless we overcome this challenge of corruption, I can say that devolution is under threat,” Wamalwa said.

He spoke on Monday after a summit that brought together officials from the national and county government ahead of the conference at Sagana State Lodge.

Wamalwa said the conference also needs to explore ways of making counties to be self-reliant instead of over-relying on the National Treasury for resources.

“We want counties to be able to generate their own revenue and this is another area of concern that we shall also be looking at,” he said.

A policy by the Cabinet to strengthen revenue generation by counties has already been approved and a Bill addressing the same issue is currently before parliament.

The CS also called on counties to embrace technology saying there are already 14 counties that have digitised their systems and improved revenue collection and management.

SOURCE: The Star

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