Youth leader opposes proposal to reduce counties, calls for strengthened fight on graft

A section of Nakuru youths have opposed the proposal by Controller of Budget to abolish 25 counties in the latest suggestion on reducing devolved units.

The proposal is to be made to the constitutional reforms team appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga.

However according to Nakuru Youths led by their Chairman Dan Kimani, the move is not the way to go as it is an attack on devolution which is the major component of devolution.

In an exclusive interview on Monday morning, Kimani said the government should focus on fight against graft rather than scraping off position and reduction of counties.

“Reducing counties or even MCAs will not help this nation. The government should focus on fight against graft which is ailing the country” said Kimani.

The Nakuru Youth leader says there is a lot of money that the government is losing through corruption and therefore the huge wage bill is not an issue but corruption is.

According to him, instead of reducing counties and other positions, the war on graft should be strengthened to boost the economy.

While lauding counties such as Makueni that have been thriving with various projects, the youth leader is optimistic that if counties can be empowered and war on graft strengthened then the economy will thrive.

“We have counties like Makueni that are doing very well in terms of economy and therefore I think it calls for strengthening war on graft and devolved systems” he said.

Ms Agnes Odhiambo had told the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) task force that 47 counties may not be sustainable because the devolved structure is gobbling up public funds, which can be used for development.

Besides a review of the number of counties, Ms Odhiambo recommended reducing the number of constituencies, wards and independent commissions.

She also said slashing the high salaries for political leaders would free up more resources for development.

According to the latest figures from the Controller of Budget, counties were allocated Sh303.8 billion with recurrent expenditure eating up the highest amount of Sh236.9 billion (77.9 per cent) while development was allocated a paltry Sh66.9 billion (22 per cent).

PHOTO/Pristone Mambili:Nakuru Youth leader Dan Kimani at a past function.

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