LACEP Facilitates Study Visit to Kenya on Devolution and Citizen Participation

LACEP with funding from the European Union financed a study visit to Kenya from 21 - 26 November 2016 comprising of an eighteen member delegation from Zimbabwe including representatives from national government, local authorities, local government associations, civil society and project staff.

The study visit forms part of the project key result area which aims to raise awareness on the New Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 20 Act of 2013 with emphasis on the Constitutionalism of Local Government.  The study visit to Kenya focused on two topics, Devolution and Citizen Participation.  The selection of Kenya as the country of choice was motivated by some similarities which the nation shares with Zimbabwe, as both are implementing new Constitutions (Kenya 2010 and Zimbabwe 2013). The Constitutions both mandate for Devolution of Powers to Local Governments and strongly promote the active role of citizens in governance issues.

The delegation was led by the Principal Directors for Urban and Rural Local Authorities from the Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of Rural Development respectively.  The Zimbabwe delegation met various key stakeholders including the Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Commission on Revenue Allocation, Intergovernmental Relations Commission, County Assembly Forum, Council of Governors, Consortium of Civil Societies, Nairobi, Kiambu and Murangu County Governments and Thika Level 5 Hospital Management. 

Devolution in Kenya was implemented with a "Big Bang" collapsing the old system of governance and coming up with a two tier structure comprising of National Government and 47 County Governments. During the visit, stakeholders commended devolution for bringing various benefits to the people of Kenya. The Zimbabwe delegation witnessed some projects which were a result of devolution and governance at the very local level.  A comparative report of Zimbabwe and Kenya's decentralisation models will be produced soon, guided mostly from the experience gained through the study visit, interviews and comments from various informants.  The visit was organised by VNG International and the Municipal Development Partnership with funding from the European Union.

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