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Kenya

NGOs oppose posting of county commissioners

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 7- Civil society groups have accused the Treasury and the Internal Security Ministry of undermining the creation of county governments as envisaged by the new Constitution.

National Coordinator of The Institute of Social Accountability Wanjiru Gikonyo wants the government to suspend the planned posting of county commissioners until legislation on the transition of local authorities to county governments is enacted.

“It is a big shame! In fact it is a national disgrace that key government ministries like the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Internal Security appear not to read the Constitution and have steadfastly and resolutely ignored the letter and spirit of the Constitution in taking actions that seek to undermine county governments even before they take off,” she said.

Internal Security PS Francis Kimemia said last week that the county commissioners would be deployed to oversee the transition process particularly managing central government assets during the transition period.

Mrs Gikonyo argues that the move contravenes the Devolved Government Transition Bill 2011, which proposes an independent transition authority to oversee the change-over and scraps the provincial administration in favour of a functional approach in relations between the national and county government.

At the same time, civil societies including the National Taxpayers Association claimed passing the Contingencies Fund Management Bill and the National Government Loans Guarantee Bill without reference to the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) had set a bad precedence.

Ms Gikonyo said that Kenyans had voted a shared governance model under the national and county governments.

The lobbies are now calling on the CIC to restart the Public Finance Management Bill process and ensure the proposed legislations adhere to the constitutional standards of devolution.

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The Bill has been the subject of a stalemate between the Treasury and the Task Force on Devolved Government.

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