1,000 councillors set to lose jobs

July 13, 2011 11:10 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 11 – At least 1,000 councillors are to lose their jobs after the establishment of county governments, if proposals by a taskforce on devolved governments are adopted.

Local Government Minister Musalia Mudavadi said on Monday that the taskforce had proposed the merger of some current wards as the country moves towards decentralised governments which should be in place by August next year.

“We have close to 3,000 councillors today. After devolution, each constituency may end up having between three and five wards and if you calculate the proposed 290 constituencies, that gives you close to 1,500 and if you add a margin of adjustment you may end up having close to 2,000 wards,” he said.

Addressing a press conference, the Deputy Prime Minister also said that the taskforce on devolution had completed the initial draft of six pieces of legislation on decentralisation that would be forwarded to the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC), the Attorney General and the Kenya Law Reform Commission.

The six laws under preparation are the Devolved Governments Bill, Urban Areas and Cities Bill, and the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Bill. Others are the Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations Bill, the County Government Financial Management Bill and the Transition to Devolved Government Bill.

The laws will manage the devolution of power to the sub-county level, resources and provide a transition mechanism to ensure smooth transfer from centralised to devolved governments, according to the Chairman of the taskforce on devolution Dr Mutakha Kangu.

“They provide a comprehensive framework for the operation of the counties and we have urged the CIC to process them as a single package because if you read one without reading the others you will not get the full picture of how devolved governments will be functioning,” Dr Kangu said.

The devolved government was expected to decentralise administrative, financial and political power to county level.

The Taskforce on devolution was established in October last year to undertake extensive consultation with the public and stakeholders to produce policy document to form basis of implementation of devolution.

“We are within time as the transition chapter stipulates that the devolution laws must be ready 18 months after the promulgation of the new constitution and the taskforce has brought forward the laws just within one year,” said the local government minister.

Initially there were 13 proposed Bills but they have been scaled down to six.

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