The 47 counties, which have been lauded for enabling impressive development throughout the country in the past 10 years of devolution, have also been quite disappointing by failing to make good use of the resources allocated to them. A case in point is the devolved units having to eat humble pie and forfeit to the National Treasury Sh16 billion meant for crucial projects.
The Treasury has declined to release the additional revenue allocation after the counties reportedly failed to honour terms and conditions of funding for 12 projects. According to outgoing Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, the money was not disbursed partly because of failure by some county governments to stick to terms and conditions of allocation.
The money was meant for water and sanitation development, informal sector support, universal health coverage and climate smart agricultural programmes.
This is ironic since counties often complain about lack of funds and delays by the Treasury to release their allocations, hampering their operations. The governors have let down the people by taking advantage of these allocations to improve their well-being.
If they lacked the internal capacity to implement these programmes, they should have sought assistance. There is adequate capacity within reach in the numerous non-governmental organisations and the private sector.
It simply does not make sense to have funds allocated for key projects and programmes withheld by, or returned to, the Treasury yet the people need services. This amounts to criminal negligence by the leaders that must never be condoned.
This is an issued the newly elected leadership of the Council of Governors (CoG) should look into. Counties must ensure all planned and funded projects are implemented by strictly following procedure.
The resources are meant for the public good and everything must be done to ensure that they are put to the intended use. Counties have a proven mechanism that should enable delivery of programmes and services.