NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16 – The move to empower County Commissioners has generated mixed reactions, with Governors threatening legal action if the National Government goes ahead and implements it.
The Chairman of the Council of Governors Isaac Ruto said the decision by President Uhuru Kenyatta to delegate extra powers to the commissioners is a blatant violation of the Constitution and a threat to devolution.
He said they will strongly oppose the empowerment of the County Commissioners who have been given Executive authority over them at the county level.
“It is not possible through an Executive order to give functions that are otherwise not provided for by law. We therefore do not support the new thinking on the new role of the provincial administration. The Governor is by law the Chief Executive of those counties. You cannot have two CEOs in the counties,” the Bomet Governor said.
The Governors” position was backed by the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) which termed the move illegal.
This development must not be allowed to succeed. It is tantamount to further increasing the wage bill, escalating constitutional crises and engendering unnecessary political tension in the country,” said ODM acting Party leader and Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o.
He added: “It is now clear that President Uhuru Kenyatta has all along been harbouring strong reservations against devolution and an entrenched faith in authoritarian rule.”
The new changes were announced earlier on Thursday when the President restructured the county government leadership, giving more powers to the County Commissioners.