Makueni to host first ever governors’ conference

Makueni County will on Monday host all the 46 county governors for the first ever governors’ peer to peer learning conference.

The conference, to be held at Wote, is the first of its kind and will give the governors a chance to learn from each other in a local setting.

The county chiefs are expected to learn about Makueni’s Public Participation model that has seen the county achieve commendable development.

The model has already won accolades from World Bank.

The Makueni Governor, Prof. Kivutha Kibwana said the event is a learning experience where counties will share their devolution stories.

We are happy to be the first county to host this event. This is an initiative that allows counties to learn from each other.It is not just about us,every county has a story to tell,said Kibwana.

He said that the public participatory approach in devolution has enabled the devolved unit to implement projects that resonates with the residents’ needs.

The participatory approach has been working well for us as residents are involved from the conceptualization of projects to the last phase of implementation.There are no white elephant projects, added Kibwana.

The governor said that despite challenges the people of Makueni face, they have become accustomed to public participation in every public agenda and some MPs have emulated the same in the implementation of their constituency development plans making it easy for various agencies to avoid duplication of roles.

The event funded by the World Bank, USAID and UKAID and organized by the Council of Governors is meant to create an opportunity for the counties to compare notes on development and various strategies meant to make devolution work.

Each county has a unique devolution experience. This kind of conference therefore allows us to listen to each other and borrow ideas from one another,the governor said.

He added that already the Council of Governors has come up with Maarifa Center to bring together all major development case studies for others to borrow a leaf from.

The County Secretary, Paul Wasanga said the public participatory model ensures the people have their say in each and every development project by the county government.

No project starts before it is endorsed by the residents.They agree on what they want and the government implements,said Wasanga.

Though Makueni has adopted the approach, it not anchored on any law and the Senate is now working on a bill to legalize public participation to eliminate the challenges faced by other counties attempting to implement it.

The Makueni Senator, Mutula Kilonzo Junior said the bill seeks to provide a general framework for effective public participation.

The bill further provides for reporting mechanisms in the context of public participation,said the senator.

Source: Kenya News Agency