Deputy President William Ruto has lauded the County Assemblies for catalysing the success of devolution in Kenya.
He said their work in legislation and oversight was shaping the operations of county governments in the right direction, a move that had seen even the remotest parts of the country record development.
“You have diligently played your roles. You are the champions of development we are seeing today since the coming into play of the new constitution in 2010,” he said.
Mr Ruto urged the members of the county assemblies not to tire in playing the central role in empowering Kenyans “because you are the leaders who are always in touch with the grassroots”.
He spoke on Monday during the launch of the inaugural County Assemblies Sports and Cultural Festival in Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi County.
The games bring together the 47 County Assemblies, which initially were bundled together with the executive under the Kenya Inter-County Sports and Cultural Organisations and County Assemblies.
While addressing participants, the Deputy President said a Bill that would bring together all County Assemblies would be tabled in Parliament in the next two weeks.
The new move, Mr Ruto said, would give the County Assembly Forum (CAF) a legal foundation, and therefore further devolution in the country.
“Through this legal entity, County Assemblies would network and therefore drawn the best lessons from each other,” he said.
He called on the Assemblies to pursue policies that are in harmony with the national government’s grand plan of manufacturing, housing, food stability and universal healthcare.
Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris said by assemblies coming up with their own sports competition, more integration would be witnessed in the country, thereby reducing the biting effects of tribalism.
“But I appeal to the national government to help counties in the improvement of their sports facilities so that all Kenyans can have a platform to exploit their talents,” she said.
Ms Passaris further appealed to the government to ensure that stadiums are put to maximum use.
“Some of these stadiums are of world standards but they are under-used. Perhaps it is time we reduced the user costs so as to attract more business,” she noted.
CAF Chairman who is also the Kajiado County Assembly Speaker Johnson Osoi urged the participants to use the sports to drawn the best experiences of each other.
“Our primary aim is to make devolution a success. We will endeavour to use every opportunity available to us for the benefit of Kenyans,” he said.