The sixth Annual Devolution Conference kicks off today in Kirinyaga county, with more than 10,000 delegates expected to attend.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is tomorrow expected to officially open the conference, which runs up to March 8, while Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga are lined up as guest speakers.
The event, hosted at Kirinyaga University, brings together key stakeholders to reflect on the devolution milestones achieved over the last five years and chart a way forward on how to tackle challenges facing devolved governance.
This year’s theme is “Deliver. Transform. Measure: Remaining Accountable”.
A proposed reduction in revenue allocation to counties by Sh9 billion is expected to dominate the discussions at the conference as well as devolved corruption.
The government’s Big Four agenda is also expected to take centre stage in the event, as governors explore ways they can partner with the National governance to make the development blueprint a success.
Raila is expected to address delegates on various issues on Wednesday, while Ruto will officially close the event on Thursday.
Senators, MPs, and members of the county assemblies will also have an opportunity to highlight devolution milestones, particularly on the various progressive legislations enacted, and call out those that seek to draw back the gains of the devolved units.
The conference will give stakeholders an opportunity to review the performance of government in the renewed war on corruption and what it means for devolution. Several governors are under investigation over mismanagement and corruption allegations.
“The Devolution Conference will mark an important milestone in devolution and give stakeholders an opportunity to review the performance of county governments,” Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka told members last week as he invited them for the conference.
Meanwhile, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru assured delegates of safety, saying security has been beefed up across the county.
Central region coordinator Wilfred Magwaga said they were leaving nothing to chance, with security also been tightened in the neighbouring Embu, Murang’a and Nyeri counties.
This afternoon several activities, including football, tug of war and games will take place at the university as a curtain raiser of the conference.