Kisumu residents came out in numbers to welcome President Uhuru Kenyatta to the lake side city where he was to open the second annual national devolution conference.
Many residents carried Iphones and Ipads which they used to take photos of the president as he addressed them.
President Kenyatta addressed crowds in the lakeside city before proceeding to the Governors Devolution Conference at Tom Mboya Labour College.
He was welcomed at the conference by Cord leader Raila Odinga who warned him that his officials were letting him down.
Raila decried the existence of corruption cartels which he said have hampered devolution by commandeering many county governments.
Uhuru has suspended five cabinet secretaries and principal secretaries over corruption allegations.
He further said that some elected leaders have confused their oversight role with execution, pitting county assemblies against executives.
Raila noted that issues plaguing the country including security, corruption and resource allocation can be resolved using dialogue and a bipartisan approach.
“We are concerned and saying these are issues that cannot wait for tomorrow,” he said.
He noted that an exit strategy is needed to prepare for a time when Kenya Defence Forces will leave Somalia.
Raila spoke on Tuesday during the second annual devolution conference at Tom Mboya Labour College, Kisumu.
He further cited delayed response by the Recce squad to the Garissa University College attack.
He highlighted the plight of a mother who remained on phone with her child from morning to afternoon when she was killed by the al Shabaab.
“Where was help?” he asked.
Raila added that only three of the 13 planes at the Moi Air Base in Eastleigh are operational while the rest are grounded due to lack of spare parts and other mechanical problems.
He said that as a result of the issues, Cord will launch an Okoa Kenya drive to which he invited Uhuru.
Raila however noted that devolution has resulted in several achievements such as people taking control of their destiny.
He said county governments face challenges because they are serving people grounded in decades of poverty.
“In the days of the old order, nobody questioned the PC, the DC or the DO. Too few knew what had been allocated for their development,” he said.
“Development was what the DC or PC said. Development is what the people say it should be.”