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Councillors to sign contracts

NAIROBI, August 25 – Councillors and employees of local authorities will now be subjected to evaluation following the launch of a performance contracting system on Monday.

Deputy Prime Minister who also oversees the Local Government docket Musalia Mudavadi said the civic leaders would be required to submit their performance reports every three months.

Speaking at a two-day workshop for top managers of local authorities at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre Mudavadi gave a stern warning that those who fall short of delivering would be sacked.

“Local authorities are being viewed as the bad boy in the village; when things go wrong anywhere, that is the problem of the local authority. It is important for us now to turn around and change the way people perceive us,” he said.

The DPM said for a long time local authorities were seen as icons of corruption, incompetence and irresponsibility.

He viewed the performance contracts as a step forward to fighting the negative vices likened to the authorities adding that the key goal was to promote efficiency and transparency.

He also accused the authority of massive misappropriation of funds.

Mudavadi demanded that all authorities make public their performance contracts, revenue collection and expenditure reports as well as citizen charters for public scrutiny.

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He further urged them to implement reforms that would improve service delivery such as adopting ICT.

The Minister further directed them to come up with by-laws in the next 30 days to come up with a management structure to ensure the smooth running of their undertakings.

LATF allocation

At the same time, Mudavadi announced the allocation of Sh9.25 billion as Local Authorities Transfer Fund (LATF) for this year.

He however expressed concerns that some officers were misappropriating the funds, warning that culprits would be shown the door and charges pressed in court.

He also asked local authorities to prepare revenue collection mechanisms, emphasising on the need for local authorities to finance themselves.

“There are less than 100 Local Authorities that are able to raise enough revenue to sustain their workers and other recurrent expenditures,” he said.

Currently there are 175 Local Authorities countrywide.

Meanwhile, pressure continued to pile on Monday on Chief Justice Evan Gicheru over performance contracts for judges.

The Law Society of Kenya urged the CJ to rise to the occasion and propose details and modes acceptable to judges setting grounds for them to sign the contracts.

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“The debate for us is never whether or not judges should sigh performance contracts, what we want to discuss is what mode and the format,” Omogeni said.

Judges enjoy security of tenure complicating the performance contracting initiative championed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

The lawyers are now warning members of the bench that if they fail to sign performance contracts, the Executive would be forced to dictate terms for them.

“What may not be welcomed is interference on the day to day running of the Judiciary, that is what may be said to interfering with the independence of the judiciary, however to ensure that judges discharge their functions efficiently cannot in anyone’s imagination be said to be interfering with the independence of the judiciary,” Omogeni explained.

Chief Justice Evan Gicheru had on the onset dismissed the idea on the grounds that the constitution had to be changed to allow the changes.

Dancing to the same tune, International Commission of jurists, Kenya Chapter chairman, Wilfred Nderitu served the ball into the courts of the Judges to embrace ‘new times’ and come to terms with new ways of working and public scrutiny.

“Times are changing and therefore Judges like everybody else should expect to come under public scrutiny and they should understand that this is being done with a view to ensuring that every section of the society remains transparent and accountable,” Nderitu said.

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