NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 3 – Members of the County Transition Authority (CTA) that is to facilitate and coordinate how Kenya moves to the new devolved system of government, were on Tuesday morning sworn in at the Supreme Court by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga.
The team to be headed by Kinuthia Wa Mwangi as Chairman has eight members who include Angeline Hongo, Safia Abdi, Mary Ndeto, Jacqueline Mogeni, Erastus Rweria, Simeon Pkiyach, Bakari Omar and Dabar Maalim.
Permanent Secretaries Francis Kimemia, Karega Mutahi, Edward Sambili and Gichira Kibaara were also sworn in.
Speaking after the ceremony, acting Local government Minister Fred Gumo urged the commissioners to be united in discharging their duty.
“This is a very sensitive authority and politicians will be there looking at you and you know with politics they can tear you apart unnecessarily so please try to make sure that when you are discharging your duties, you are fair to everybody,” Gumo told the commissioners.
“You have seen so many authorities sometimes ending up in court fighting among themselves thinking the commissions belong to them alone, don’t let us down,” he added.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga noted that the commission was a critical player in charting Kenya’s new constitutional path.
“You are not merely another authority. Transitions are difficult and fragile and you will be seeking to change a government system whose centralising instincts are strong- institutions and people who will not cede power, space or authority easily. You must not relent,” the CJ stated.
Mutunga cautioned the commissioners to be wary of actors who will seek to sabotage devolution.
“They will use disguised sophistry, brazen political and economic attacks and employ scare tactics to reverse the clock of change. We had it in 1963, we must not have it again now,” he said.
About two weeks ago, President Mwai Kibaki appointed the team after Parliament endorsed it a week earlier.
The CTA was established under the Transition to Devolved Government Act with the Attorney General as an ex-officio member.
The authority would be charged with auditing of assets and debts of local authorities, tallying of staff of both central and local authorities, educate the public on county governments, prepare county profiles, classify which town is a city and municipality and assist new county officials to draw budgets.
It would also train county officials in their new duties, transfer functions originally done by national government authorities, review the performance of each county government and report its evaluation to the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution and that of Revenue Allocation.
The Authority shall, in every three months, submit a progress report to the President, Parliament, the Commission for Implementation of the Constitution and Commission on Revenue Allocation.
According to the Act, the report shall include status on transfer of functions to county governments; any impediments to the transition programme; recommendation to address specific concerns identified by the Authority; and any other information of concern relating to the functions of the Authority.