, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20 – The chairman of the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) Charles Nyachae is concerned there is too much focus on presidential candidates and not enough on transition to a devolved system of government.
“From where I sit, it doesn’t really matter who that president is…one of the things that is momentous about the general election for us as a country and that we have not given sufficient attention to, is the fact that the election is what enables the system of devolved government to kick in.”
He contends that there are serious challenges that need tackling if the country is to meet the three year deadline set in the Constitution for the realisation of fully operational county governments.
“Can we foresee certain challenges so that we can begin to think about those challenges and we can begin to see how they are going to be addressed in order to ensure that the system of devolved government actually does work.”
Nyachae faulted the 10th Parliament for cutting back on the educational qualifications required of county assembly members and causing one of the major challenges, that in his opinion, county governments are bound to face.
“We developed the Elections Act which sought to include qualifications for various elected officials and we thought there was some rationale to it but it goes to Parliament and what did our collection of members in the 10th Parliament do?”
An amendment to the election act that had initially required those vying for the post of County Ward Representative to hold post-secondary education, Nyachae argued, denies the assemblies the knowledge needed to watch over the county governor who is required by law to be a degree holder.
“I have more than one university degree and I have difficulties in understanding figures and strategic plans and things like those and I have been to university. Now if I have that problem how are these people going to interrogate what it is that the governor seeks to do?”
“Their role is to vet the governor’s appointments and what did we say about these people? They don’t need any qualifications. So you have a governor whose qualifications are way up there and those that are expected to oversee him are not required to hold any qualifications.”
The CIC chairman was speaking at an accounting professionals’ symposium on the transition to a devolved system of government.