Governors, Senators strike truce on County Boards

October 11, 2013 3:10 pm
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Senate Legal Affairs Committee chairman Amos Wako told a news conference that the two groups had agreed to set up a forum that will inform amendment to the Act/FILE
Senate Legal Affairs Committee chairman Amos Wako told a news conference that the two groups had agreed to set up a forum that will inform amendment to the Act/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 11 – The Council of Governors and Senators on Friday agreed to hold negotiations on the structure to be adopted in managing and co-ordinating development in the counties to be outlined in the proposed County Government Amendment Bill 2013.

Senate Legal Affairs Committee chairman Amos Wako told a news conference that the two groups had agreed to set up a forum that will inform amendment to the Act which has so far been declared as running against the Constitution by the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution and other law implementation bodies.

“There is need for a consultative framework within the county that will promote cooperation among elected leaders in the counties,” he said in a communiqué after a two-hour meeting held at the Nairobi Serena Hotel.

“The leaders have decided that consultations will continue with regard to the management structure of the framework.”

Wako said his committee will receive public views on the Bill from Tuesday to Thursday next week.

A number of Governors have warned Senators against pushing for the Bill, which, if passed by the Senate would see Senators chair the proposed County Development Boards.

Leader of Majority Coalition in the Senate Kindiki Kithure said they were prepared to give up the chairmanship of the proposed boards.

“On the issue of who chairs, remember I said for us (Senators) that is the most trivial and irrelevant matter,” said the Tharaka-Nithi Senator. “We don’t care who chairs, all that we know is that without coordination you are going to have chaos of development in the county.”

“For us as Senators we can cede the chairmanship, we don’t have to be the chairs; we can do other roles.”

Council of Governors chairman Isaac Ruto and Tana River County Governor Hussein Dado said Friday’s meeting agreed that the Senators will not make any legislation that will undermine the executive authority of the Governor in counties.

Ruto noted that the forum is aimed at complementing provision under the Section 54 of the County Government Act and Section 137 of the Public Finance Management Act which offered a ‘limited scope’ in the involvement of the county based leaders in the planning and use of the county funds.

“A lot of us have been coming together without a legal framework but the one the Senate wants to come with is for elected leaders to come together in a forum in which we can consult and agree, but will not do any legislative work that this for the County Assemblies,” Ruto said.

“What the senators have not told you is that whatever forum or body they will come with it will not interfere with the county governor authority in his county government,” Dado added.

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