The Council of Governors yesterday dismissed county executives’ plea to have the directive regulating their foreign trips reversed.
Council vice chairperson Anne Waiguru termed the executives’ request “not important”. She told them to focus on “bigger things” in serving the public.
Waiguru criticised hundreds of CECs during their ongoing three-day annual conference at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Studies in Nairobi. “I won’t take this seriously.
As governors, we have to write letters for clearance by the government before we travel,” she said.
The CECs during the plenary discussions wanted state barred from approving their foreign travels on grounds it was overstepping its mandate to “prefect us’.
Devolution PS Charles Sunkuli in an October circular demanded MCAs and all county executive staff travelling abroad submit applications to his office accompanied by a statement of benefit for approval.
MCAs have opposed the directive and termed it an attempt by the state to interfere with counties’ operations. The new policy to curb misuse of public funds forbids approval of foreign workshops requiring county leaders to pay participation fees to organisers.
The circular was copied to Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, Foreign Affairs PS Macharia Kamua and Council of Governors CEO Jacqueline Mogeni. “Having worked in the national government, I understand its concerns in terms of budget and you would be tempted to go a little bit overboard. That is why it is important to have a conversation on regulating our foreign travels,” Waiguru said. She said county executives with a clear agenda cannot be denied legitimate foreign travel.
County Executives Committee Members chairman Charles Korir backed Waiguru, saying no staff can be barred from travelling abroad, following approval by their governors.
“Approval by your governor shows the application has been vetted and you need to travel. It is not a big deal at all and CoG has been very cooperative on this matter,” Korir said.