Friday, March 9, 2012



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.

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  •  It remains unfathomable why some people are hell bent in retaining a segment of the central government as a component of county government's administration. The creation of devolved government is incompatible with retention of alternative power centers that would stand in competition with the independent management of county affairs. Therefore, the approach to defining and determining power relationships between central and county governments is, in essence, a question of institution design that creates complementary rather than competitive levers of authority, horizontal rather than vertical structures of authority. The central government should play a regulatory role rather than a controlling role in relation to the counties. The provincial administration belongs with the central government. Because  the functions of provincial administration cannot be retained and transitioned in their current configuration, it is necessary that a restructuring commission be tasked (might already exist) to redefine and re-purpose the entire central government. In the US, branches and divisions of federal agencies are established within each state. The functions of the federal agencies are complementary to the state governments' functions. The CDC, an establishment under the health agency, might opt to have offices in locations where this is justified, but it will, nonetheless, oversee health administration matters where its mandate requires it to do so. For example, they provide policy guidance to and support state health agencies on matters related to managing health emergencies and crises, disease control etc. I have never seen anything resembling the provincial administration in the US. I see, instead, well designed federal agencies that function seamlessly and unobtrusively side by side with state departments. Jurisdictions are determined in myriad ways to ensure no conflicts or confusion. In law enforcement, jurisdictions are defined and mapped without ambiguity regarding the roles of city, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Without demonstrating adequate commitment to explore appropriate designs for relationships between different tiers of government, the whole motivation about the role of provincial administration appears to be geared towards holding the country hostage to power structures that the new constitution seeks to eliminate.
  • The Provincial Administration structure of government may have played a critical role during the colonial era and the first half century of our nation - but in this era of mature representative democracy in the 21st century, do we seriously need this expensive and unnecessary government structure?
    The County elected public servants (governors, representatives etc) will have the peoples' mandate to carry out the administrative functions of the county government - what role and for whose benefit will be the function of the PA? If its for security purposes, we have the police (which I hope in the future will be localized or is it countized?).
    Deploying the PA personnel to the counties to work under the Governors makes more administrative and economic sense (ie, if we must retain them). The executive branch whose top leadership comes from the colonial and early Kenyan government eras  needs to fully appreciate that Kenya have matured and moved on and we don't need chiefs, DOs, and DCs in our modern government structure.