Civil Society groups demand amendment of Security Bills

November 20, 2011 12:23 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 20 – The National Civil Society Congress wants the government to amend the Coordination of Government Functions Bill and the National Security Bills before they are taken to Parliament for debate.

Group president Maurice Odhiambo said the Bills if passed in the current form will negate the gains made by the Constitution on devolution of powers.

Odhiambo is concerned that the Bills as formulated will exclude Governors from the County Security Committee yet they are the overall bosses of the counties.

The Group is demanding revision of the Bill so as to respect the provisions on the roles of elected leader’s such as Governors.

Odhiambo said: “If you do not have Governors who are also in charge of security at the county level then he will not effectively function, the issue of county and national government being distinct and interdependent is already compromised.”

The Civil society group also said that the process of drafting the Bills has not been inclusive as provided by the Constitution and that the Bills should be withdrawn to capture the input of the taskforce on devolution.

“We want the Bills withdrawn because they are unconstitutional and enacting then will be a waste of time. The objects that are to be achieved by the two Bills are accommodated within the six bills prepared by the Taskforce on Devolution,” added Odhiambo.

Both Bills are undergoing review by the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC).

The draft National Security Bill provides that there shall be a National Security Council made up of the President; the Deputy President; the Cabinet Secretary responsible for Defence; the Cabinet Secretary responsible for Foreign Affairs; the Cabinet Secretary responsible for Internal Security; the Attorney General; the Chief of Kenya Defence Forces; the Director General of the National Intelligence Service; and the Inspector General of the National Police Service.

At the county level the committee established will be an organ of the National Security Council will be known as the as the County Security Committee.

It will consist of a chairperson appointed by the Council; the Head of the Kenya Police Service in the County; the Head of the Administration Police Service in the County; the Head of Criminal Investigations Department in the County; the Head of the National Intelligence Service in the County; a representative of the National Government among other officials.


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