Survey: MCAs most accessible leaders

Friday, October 16th, 2020 00:00 |
Transparency International-Kenya Executive Director Sheila Masinde. Photo/PD/File

Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka

Governors have remained largely inaccessible to Kenyans compared to Ward Reps, a recently conducted survey reveals.

 At the same time, some elected leaders are yet to fully understand their roles as articulated in the Constitution raising challenges in citizens’ ability to hold them to account.

 This is according to the County Governance Status Report launched yesterday by Transparency International Kenya (TI-Kenya).

Challenges registered

 The study which assesses the levels of transparency, accountability, integrity and service delivery at county level, drew respondents from 16 counties, distributed across all regions representing the eight  former provinces in Kenya.

 It also drew respondents from county governments, both the Executive and 47 county assemblies.

 The report follows a similar one commissioned by TI-Kenya in 2016 when devolution was still  at its infancy.

 “Since then, there have been several changes in county governance including leadership transitions resulting from the 2017 general election,” Sheila Masinde, TI-Kenya Executive Director said during the launch of the report at a Nairobi hotel.

She added: “Therefore, the purpose of this study was to measure the progress made and challenges registered in regard to transparency, accountability, integrity and service delivery within the counties.”

 The findings from the report revealed that MCAs were the most contacted leaders with almost 24 per cent  of respondents stating that they had contacted their MCAs in 2019.

 This is a 12-point drop from those who contacted their MCAs in 2016.

Senators were the least contacted leaders with only three per  cent of respondents stating that they contacted them.

“The respondents rated the performance of Senators and Woman Representatives as poor.

The performance of governors, MPs and MCAs was rated as average,” Masinde explained.

However, two-thirds representing 66 per cent  of the respondents felt that corruption had increased in the last one year, with 56 per cent of the respondents saying that corruption would increase in the next one year.

“38 per cent of the respondents opined that the government is committed to fighting corruption, stating intensification of arrests and prosecution of perpetrators as evidence of the commitment,” the report reads in part.

Regarding integrity management structures, the study found out that 12 counties out of the sampled 16 assessed, established audit committees in their County Executive, while 11 out of 16 had established corruption reporting mechanisms, asset registers, complaints and feedback mechanisms.

Only three out of 16 county assemblies had recruited integrity assurance officers.

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