NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 11 – The Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council’s (IBEC) Legal Committee is proposing the dissolution of the entire county executive in the case of the impeachment of a Governor.
The organ wants the deputy governor and the county executives sent packing in case a Governor’s impeachment is upheld by the Senate.
Under the existing law, the Deputy Governors ascend to the office of a Governor should the county chief vacate office because of impeachment, insanity, bankruptcy or death.
Speaking after chairing an extraordinary session of IBEC, Deputy President William Ruto called on the courts to determine the threshold required to impeach an elected official saying this will help curb witch hunts which have been blamed for the cases that have since been handled by the Senate.
“We need clarity in matters to do with impeachment of persons who are elected and the courts will determine the thresholds that are required and the whole mechanism of impeachment of public officials so that we eliminate any elements of witch hunt or any other subjective considerations,” said Ruto.
Sources in the meeting disclosed that Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru proposed that they first get legal interpretation from the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) and the Attorney General to ensure it is in tandem with the law.
But in an interesting twist, Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya (Meru) told Capital FM News that the proposal was shot down because they had confidence the courts had already set the standards.
“The courts have done a good job so far; all we need is for the threshold to be set,” he said.
He said they also rejected the proposal because the legal committee comprising lawyers from the civil service and the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) initiated an agenda that was not as urgent compared to strengthening of the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act to reduce the interference of County Assemblies in the budget making process.
The Senate has so far handled three impeachments, where they upheld the impeachment of Embu Governor Martin Wambora and rejected the impeachments of Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony and Machakos Deputy Governor Bernard Kiala.
While addressing journalists soon after the meeting, the Deputy President said the Commission of Revenue Allocation would soon meet with the Senate over the second-generation formula of resource sharing with a view to solving the stalemate after the Senate rejected the proposals by IBEC.
“IBEC under the leadership of CRA will retreat with Senators before the end of 2015 for Senate to fully understand and appreciate the second generation formula with a view to getting a new one,” said Ruto.
He also said the Equalization Fund Board will be appointed this week so as to fast track the commencement of projects under the fund by September.
“The Equalization Fund Board will be inclusive and implementation of projects will be consultative including putting in place sub-committees that will take into account the county context,” he added.
On the question of e-procurement which Governors had called for postponement of its implementation, Ruto said they had agreed to embrace e-procurement as it would introduce transparency, accountability and eliminate abuse of the country’s existing procurement and financial management process.
The Deputy President further dismissed the notion that the government was not committed to the success of devolution.
“I mean there is absolutely nothing that we will gain by deliberately withholding any information that can help county governments develop. We should have good faith in the implementation of projects,” he said.
He said the Senate would be incorporated in future IBEC deliberations adding that the Treasury had also promised to ensure faster disbursement of funds to counties so as to reduce the debt incurred in delay in payment of bills.
The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretaries Henry Rotich (Treasury), Waiguru (Devolution), Adan Mohamed (Industrialization) and Governors Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a), Jack Ranguma (Kisumu), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), Cleophas Lagat (Nandi), Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu)and Salim Mvurya (Kwale) among others.