The meeting, which brought together politicians, bishops and business leaders among other representatives, was the first of its kind in Embu County since 2013. The meeting dubbed “Leaders Summit” was aimed at deliberating on ways of reaching a formal consensus on the unity of Embu County leaders.
Devolution is at the heart of the new constitution and a key vehicle for addressing historical disparities. The Kenyan system of devolution combines a measure of autonomy and inter-dependence leading to a cooperative system of devolved governments. A cooperative system of devolved governments requires that both the national government and county governments embrace a system of consultation, negotiation and consensus building in the running of state affairs.
Kenya’s devolution is a direct attempt to address the underlying causes of past inequalities which often led to conflict. It gives all of us hope for a better Kenya well run, well managed and where services and decision making are close to all Kenyans.
As a people, devolution is not only a critical milestone in our country’s history; it is also remarkable in global terms. Many countries, both rich and poor, have transferred power and resources to lower levels of government. But very few have done so, setting up from scratch like we have just done and this is our pride.
Certainly, the key function of devolution is to bring the government closer to mwananchi and provide public service to the locals. Thus, a county government should be judged by how well it performs this function. In Embu County we have witnessed numerous activities that showcase the benefits that devolution has had for us.
A day of intensive exchange of views and reflection on the future of peace building and unity of purpose in Embu County was a thoughtful and noble undertaking. Consolidating peace after a long and harrowing period of carnage, suffering and devastation was an imperative for handling post-conflict recovery.
Clearly, the timing of the meeting could not have been more apt. In the past the county has been a theatre of fratricidal conflicts triggered by a wide range of factors. This has had far-reaching consequences for the county given that a considerable amount of post-election energies had been focused on addressing these challenges. Since there is unity now, the daunting challenges ahead is the promotion of peace, county recovery and development..