By Hussein Ahmed:
The National government is to blame for the poor service delivery at the Counties, Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi has said.
Speaking after leading area residents to mark this year’s Heroes Day at Wajir Stadium, Abdullahi said even though devolution has seen great improvement in the delivery of service to the people, County governments continue to experience challenges which constantly affect the smooth running of their affairs.
“The delay by the national treasury to release funds has resulted in delayed payment of salaries and bills in the counties, thereby causing anxiety among workers and suppliers. The delays occasioned since July 2015 are grounding counties to a halt. Salaries need to be paid on time and the contrary would mean social unrest amongst county staff, and stagnation in the prevision of essential services to the citizens” the governor said.
Urging the national treasury to treat the issue with utmost urgency and seriousness, Abdullahi now wants treasury to release county monies on time.
Other than delayed transfer of funds, the tough talking governor said that there were delays of transfer of various functions from the national government to the Counties complicating the already wanting situation.
“The constitutional timeline that had been allocated for the complete transfer of all functions assigned to county Government lapses in March 2016. The limited transfer of functions to County Governments will inevitably culminate into constitutional crisis if not remedied within the mentioned timeframe” he warned.
Governor Abdullahi added that County governments were calling for an urgent Summit meeting by the end of the year to discuss thorny issues including the state of the economy and the slow implementation of previous Summit resolutions since the issues he pointed out affected all the 47 Counties.
But even after heaping blame on the National government for the poor service delivery at the Counties, Governor Abdullahi has put County staff on notice saying his office will not condone corrupt practices which he added undermines service delivery.
“Public officials engaged in corrupt activities will have to carry their own cross. As the leader of this county, I will invite investigative agencies anytime I feel officials of a certain department in my government are engaged in corrupt dealings. We will not defend any corrupt official and will not be allowed to hide behind the shield of their clan and sub-clans if found corrupt or incompetent” he said.
Non-performing County staff will also not be spared as the Governor said it will not be business as usual. They will now have to sweat for their salaries.
The colorful event was also attended by Deputy Governor Abdihafidh Yarrow, County Women MP Fatuma Ibrahim, Wajir East MP Abass Sheikh, Speaker and members of the County Assembly among other leaders.
Watch the Governor’s full speech here below: