Third Eye

Wrangles in counties are bad for growth

Friday, October 30th, 2020 00:00 |
Cash. Photo/PD/Courtesy

A score card by a research firm on the performance of governors has sparked strong reactions, with some disputing the ranking.

The governors were ranked on responsibilities assigned to counties such as agriculture, education, health, water management, transport, trade, planning, sports, energy and tourism.

The governors were also assessed on the fight against drug abuse, pornography and corruption.

On education, the survey measured how counties have ensured needy, vulnerable and gifted children access bursaries.

A number of counties were able to provide affordable medical treatment and ensure people receive information on how to stay healthy and restaurants and kiosks were licensed and inspected regularly.

The survey showed though most county governments spent the nascent period predominantly laying the groundwork and planning to deliver on the promises, others grabbed the opportunity not only to lay their development plans, but also to actualise quick wins that have continued to resonate with the public.  

The report had both heartwarming and disappointing verdicts. It was, for instance, encouraging to hear that marginalised counties such as West Pokot, which were previously associated with poverty and high levels of poverty are fast turning into bread baskets due to steady and focused leadership.

There were also positive reports that marginalised counties notably, Kwale was now leading in key sectors, including education.

It was also apparent that a number of second term governors had dropped the ball.

Residents of Mombasa, Homa Bay, Kisii, Busia, Narok and Nyamira, which are led by second term governors returned harsh verdicts.

Their poor performance could be attributable to the fact that the governors are no longer under pressure to deliver because they are not threatened with an election.

Counties whose governors had been charged with corruption also performed below par.

But more importantly, the survey demonstrated the nexus between stability and development, and the effect of corruption on devolution.

It was apparent that counties that had been hit by wrangles, pitting governors and county assemblies scored poorly. 

That is why we are encouraging leaders in counties to explore dialogue and compromise in case of conflict in order to ensure stability that is required for devolution to succeed.

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