Counties take root as governors take oaths

March 26, 2013 3:10 pm


Nairobi's Governor-elect Evans Kidero and his deputy Jonathan Mueke are set to be sworn in at Uhuru Park from 10am/FILE
Nairobi’s Governor-elect Evans Kidero and his deputy Jonathan Mueke are set to be sworn in at Uhuru Park from 10am/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – Kenya’s shift to the devolved system of government will enter a new stage on Wednesday when all elected governors and their deputies will be sworn into office.

The interim clerk of the Nairobi county assembly Jacob Ngwele said after taking their oaths, the governors will be expected to appoint members to the County Executive Committees which will be in charge of various departments within the counties.

Nairobi’s Governor-elect Evans Kidero and his deputy Jonathan Mueke are set to be sworn in at Uhuru Park from 10am.

Justice Mbogholi Msagha and magistrate Peter Mulwa will preside over the ceremony.

After he formally takes over office, Kidero is expected to appoint 10 people into his Executive Committee.

“These people are going to be nominated with the approval of the county,” Ngwele said.

In an interview with Capital FM News on Tuesday, Ngwele said Nairobi’s County Assembly is going to be the second largest representative assembly in the country, after the National Assembly.

It will be made up of the 84 elected County Representatives, six nominees from special interest groups and a further 42 women nominated to satisfy the constitutional gender requirement.

“In fact, the Nairobi County Assembly is second to the Kenya National Assembly in terms of size because once you add the nominated members who are women and also the six people who come from the marginalised and disabled, the assembly will end up with 132 members,” he added.

He said that members will be nominated to various committees during the first session of the county assembly.

“It is going to have committees just like Parliament and once the assembly convenes the first order of business will be for members to be nominated to the 14 various committees,” he stated.

He indicated that the role of the county government has been clearly stipulated under the Fourth Schedule in the Constitution.

“There are certain parameters which are within the confines of the county governments so the County Assembly will legislate within those particular matters. The rest which are in the first part of the fourth schedule will be legislated by the National government,” he said.

The first piece of legislation awaiting the Nairobi County Assembly will be the passing of the Flag and Emblem Act.

According to Ngwele, the process to be used will be similar to that followed in the National Parliament, with laws being gazetted in the county gazette.

“If you look at Section 4 of the County Government Act, every county government must have its county symbols that are the flag, court of arms and a public seal,” he said.

“The second law will be how the county government is going to de-centralise its functions to the sub-counties as stipulated in the county government Act. So these are laws that need to be urgently disposed of once the assembly convenes but those will have to be originated from the Executive,” he said.

He explained that County Reps will also be able to bring private member Bills to the assembly.

“A member can originate a Bill with respect to any matter and that can also be debated and passed,” he said.

He observed that the representatives have been given a lot of power under the Constitution unlike councillors under the old constitution.

“They are akin to MPs and they are honourable members. They are no longer councillors and they have similar roles, powers and privileges. Previously in the council they never used to have the same powers,” he said.

“They have the power and privileges with respect to speech, information and every other thing. They will have the power to summon they way the National Assembly has.”


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