A parliamentary committee has backed President Kibaki’s objection to an amendment making the DCs and DOs answerable to governors. A report tabled in Parliament yesterday by the departmental committee on Local Authorities, which is chaired by David Ngugi (Kinangop), concurred with President's recommendation that the provincial administration remains under the national government and answerable to the President.
President Kibaki had declined to assent to the County Government Bill 2012 saying MPs had introduced some amendments into it which were unconstitutional. He returned the Bill in Parliament with a memo advising that clauses be deleted. House Speaker Kenneth Marende then referred the President’s memo to the Local Authorities committee to review and table a report in the House.
In its report, the committee though agreeing with the President has proposed further amendments to the Bill. It has proposed that a forum be created for officers in the provincial administration to share information with the governor on various services. The committee has proposed that Article 54 of the Bill be amended to create the county intergovernmental forum in counties to be chaired by the governor or his deputy.
The forum's membership will comprise heads of all departments of the National government at the county, the county executive committee members or their nominees. The report also proposes the inclusion of a clause in the Bill for the governor to receive regular briefings from the county security committee which is created under section 41 (1) (d) of the National Police Service Act of 2011.
The committee proposed the deletion of that Article 30 (1) (i), which had placed the National Security Council under the County government. This will have required the provincial administrators to report to governors instead of the President. Kibaki had said the provision was unconstitutional and maintained that national security was not a functions of county governments.
The committee also agreed with the President's proposal that the national government should be allowed time to restructure the provincial administration. The restructuring is supposed to be within the first five years from the day of the promulgation of the new constitution. Before the preparation of the report, the committee held discussions with Internal Security Minister George Saitoti, Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo and the Commission for Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) which is chaired by Charles Nyachae.