NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 1 – Governors from five counties envisioned in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area are proposing an amendment to the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (NAMATA) Bill to allow them co-chair the Council alongside the Transport Cabinet Secretary.
Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu who represented his colleagues from Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos and Murang’a before an MPs committee said this will ensure the county governments are involved in decision making.
Waititu further told the House Transport Committee that the five governors will co-chair the Council on a rational basis.
“We want to amend that from assuming that the co-chair should come from Nairobi, we want that position to be rational because we know very well we develop some interests,” the Kiambu Governor said.
Currently the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (NAMATA) Bill provides that the Cabinet Secretary responsible for Transport shall be the chairperson of the Council and the Deputy Chair of the Council shall be the Governor of Nairobi City County.
Other members of the Council are the National Treasury CS, the Governor of Nairobi City County, the Governor of Kiambu County; the Governor of Machakos County, the Governor of Kajiado County; the Governor of Murang’a County, the chairperson of the Board who shall be an ex-officio member, and the Director-General who shall be the Secretary to the Council.
The governors also argued this will ensure consultation on plans to be undertaken by the council through Board, adding this will ease conflict between the two levels of government in future where the holders come from different political affiliations.
“In Clause 6(2) we are consulting that the authority shall facilitate continuous enhancement of the county transport sector staff with the five counties. Here we are just emphasizing the aspect of consultation that is the authority must consult the CG considering that this function is devolved and will be implemented at the county level.”
“County Governments are distinct entities mandated to carry out distinct functions. Therefore the proposed Authority must ensure consistent consultation and cooperation to avoid duplication of duties,” the Kiambu Governor told MPs.
Waititu said the County Government as the implementing wing must be allowed to give its input on how to regulate the traffic control and car parking system which the Authority is authorised to operate.
To this end the governors want Planning CECs from the five counties to also be included in NAMATA Board.
“We are seeking the inclusion of the County Executive Committee member in charge of Urban Planning and Development within the five sub-counties because of the proposed roads and maybe to some extent railway will touch on the element of planning. Therefore we need somebody in charge of planning in that Board so we want to one member from the docket from counties,” Waititu stated.
Clause 10 of the Bill states that the management of the Authority shall vest in Board of the a Board which shall consist of the chairperson of the Board, appointed by the President; the Principal Secretary responsible for Transport; the Principal Secretary responsible for Roads; the Principal Secretary responsible for the National Treasury; the County Executive Committee Member responsible for transport in each of the five counties of the Metropolitan Area;
Others member include three independent persons, who shall be appointed by the Council by virtue of their knowledge and experience in transport; law; intelligent transport systems; civil engineering; traffic engineering; economics; urban design, planning and management; or any other relevant field.
The Director-General and the Secretary shall sit in the Board as ex-officio members and shall have no right to vote.