BY: AHMED SALAT ALI
Majority leader Aden Duale of National Assembly yesterday threatened to mobilize devolved units to move to court to challenge the increment of marginalized counties from 14 to 34.
Speaking at the ASAL conference in Kilifi where many deliberations were made. It was first conference held that brought twenty-nine Counties. The event was officially opened by the Deputy president William Ruto.
“I’m disappointed because I did not expect the number to rise from 14 to 34 counties,” Duale said
The Garissa town MP said they will not matter slightly as pastoralist communities, he said he will seek address from the Supreme Court. This is after a fresh debate emerged on the inclusion of more arid and semi-arid counties to share the Equalization Fund.
But the Deputy president on his side urge the Majority Leader not to take the matter to court saying that can be solved in alternative way either discussed and making an agreeing consensus on the issue.
On the conference at Kilifi many concern stakeholders attend the summit.
Issues of way forward to the Counties on realization of the Four Agenda was main subject matter ventilated.
The leaders from the original ASAL region want the “new” Counties removed, lamenting that will bring halt on the progress of counties.
Corruption was also main concern agenda that many said it a threat to realization of change at the Counties that need to be addressed.
The theme of this year’s ASAL conference is “Unlocking the Potential of ASALs for Accelerated National Economic Development”.
Some of the Counties viewed as marginalized that the equalization fund to be given so that they be part of the of rest of the Country. The commission on Revenue Allocation increased less developed or marginalized Counties to 34 from 14 to benefit from state funded millions projects to fastrack accessibility of services.
This are some of the Counties Duale expressed discomfort are; Kiambu, Meru, Nyeri and Tharaka Nithi but on his side Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi dismissed calls of Duale that some Counties were not part of ASAL
Deputy President William Ruto said the government is committed to allocate resources to the ASAL counties and announced that Sh12.4 billion Equalization Fund had been disbursed
Turkana governor Josphat Nanok said, “There is need to develop legislation or formation of an independent authority to implement the fund.”
Duale expressed concern of the cultural barriers that halt the dreams of the girl child rights saying FGM is setback to many girls.
The day two of the conference underway where some of the big agenda that could empower the society will be deliberate; Food Security, Infrastructure, Industrial & enterprise development, Education, Health & nutrition, Social inclusion& Gender mainstreaming and Sustainable Management of Natural resources.
The summit brought experts, leaders, ambassadors, and many dignitaries.