HERSI: Counties can have all the money they need if Governors create a conducive business environment to raise revenue

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Mohamed Hersi. PHOTO/COURTESY

By MOHAMED HERSI

newsdesk@reporter.co.ke

This morning I want to comment on devolution. Bear with me quite a lengthy piece. Then ask yourself how we can influence the Governors to run the counties like a business.

Governors like chest thumping and drawing boundaries. They talk of national government that they are equal bla bla. The last five years was quite a friction.

Then they turn around to lament that national government has not supported them financially. National government key financial source is taxation. When close to half of the counties in the last five years did nothing but undermine the same national government then expect funding. Get businesses to function in your counties and taxation base will be widened.

A common line ” Sisi Kama Serikali Ya County ”  “or us as the County Government.” By the way where did Isaac Ruto vanish to ?

Then they all want to live with a retinue of servants or employees. I recall meeting a County Executive Committee member (CEC) who had a bodyguard and two personal assistants plus a driver.

While as a CEO of a hotel group I was driving myself she had 4 busybodies around her. Well she is now jobless since her governor lost the elections but that rubbish is replicated across the country.

Devolution was not about creating jobs for the boys and girls plus your clan. It was about managing public resources in the most effective efficient manner.

The same applies even at national government. I have never understood the nonsense of a grown up man allocated the task of manning a lift. It really makes us the laughing stock when dignitaries come visiting. What a waste of resource.

In Rwanda a minister came to see us in our hotel for a meeting. He was driving himself and no bodyguard no PA to carry his damn phone.

I recall in Germany during one of the tourism fairs a couple of years ago a VIP came to the stands and when it was time to hit the Berlin cold he had two men yes two handlers help him button his winter jacket.

I stood there and I shook my head . He was not amused but I was expressing my disgust on how not to spend my tax payers’ money.

No wonder in Kenya when guys are rejected by the voter they become miserable . Most look like fish out of water. Talk of guys who keep vying come every election.

To Governors, money does not grow on trees. Generate your own funds as well. Cut down on your recurrent expenditure eliminate corruption .

The tragedy in Kenya is that pride no longer exists. These guys are least bothered to leave a legacy what a wasted life.

Let us all join hands and keep reminding them . Late Nyeri Governor Wahome Gakuru was a younger version of former President Mwai Kibaki but sadly he did not live to implement his vision for his county.

I have no idea which other Governor can choose to do the right things and become an example to the rest . I am desperately searching.

To governors please do a splendid job and put the national government to shame. Choose to be stars.

As always I choose to remain an optimist.

MOHAMED HERSI IS THE GROUP CEO AT SUN AFRICA HOTELS

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