Parastatals urged to hand over devolved roles

By: PATRICK LANGAT

The Transition Authority is pushing parastatals and regional development authorities to cede all or most of their roles to counties.

Chairman Kinuthia Wamwangi on Tuesday said the agency has started auditing the parastatals to ascertain those that are performing devolved functions.

Governors had in May said Kenya Electricity Transmission Company, eight water services boards, six regional development authorities and Kenya Rural Roads Authority perform devolved functions.

The county chiefs have consistently called for the scrapping of the parastatals, and their multi-billion-shiiling budgetary allocation given to devolved units.

Mr Wamwangi yesterday said the transfer of functions held by parastatals would be the agency’s last duties. The agency’s mandate ends in March 2016.

“The authority is scrutinising all the 205 government parastatals, as well as water boards and regional development authorities to see whether they have functions that have been devolved,” he told the Nation yesterday.

Mr Wamwangi was reacting to calls by governors for the devolution of all functions, in line with Schedule Four of the Constitution.

The county chiefs have accused the National Government of not only being insincere, but also deliberately retaining functions that have been devolved.

“The Council of Governors believes some State parastatals are still performing devolved functions. They must be dissolved to avoid this expensive duplication of roles,” said chairman Peter Munya after a full council summit last month.

The authority has the constitutional mandate of transferring functions, assets and liabilities to both levels governments. If the agency does not give the nod, neither government can claim to perform a given function.

The water boards’ function, which involved managing water in the former eight provinces has largely been devolved.

Last week, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said the Devolution ministry is not needed.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION