COUNTY ASSEMBLY IN KENYA - an overview
COUNTY ASSEMBLY IN KENYA
The County Assembly is the legislative arm of the County Government which makes laws to govern certain operations. The assembly also has oversight responsibilities on the county’s operational activities. The County Assembly consists of elected Members of County Assembly (MCAs) from the wards, nominated members and the Speaker elected by the County Assembly. Nomination of MCAs is done in accordance with the set criteria including ensuring:
i) Gender parity
ii) Inclusion of persons with disabilities
iii) Inclusion of the youth
Role of the County Assembly
-The legislative authority of a county is vested in, and exercised by, its County Assembly
-The County Assembly makes any laws that are necessary for the effective performance of the functions and exercise of the powers of the County Government.
-Exercises oversight over the County Executive Committee and other county executive organs.
-Receives and approve plans and policies.
-Approves the budget and expenditure of the County Government
-Approving borrowing by the County Government.
-Vets and approves nominees for appointment to county public offices.
-Should conduct its business in an open manner, and hold its sittings and those of its committees in public.
-Should facilitate public participation and involvement in the legislative and other business of the assembly and its committees.
Role of Members of the County Assembly (MCAs)
-Maintain close contact with the electorate and consult them on issues before or under discussion in the County Assembly
-Present views, opinions and proposals of the electorate to the County Assembly;
-Attend sessions of the County Assembly and its committees;
-Provide a linkage between the county assembly and the electorate on public service delivery; and
-Extend professional knowledge, experience or specialised knowledge to any issue for discussion in the County Assembly
Should not directly or indirectly be involved in the executive functions of the County Government and its administration; or in the delivery of services as if the member were an officer or employee of the County Government
Recall of a County Assembly member
The electorate in a county ward may recall their Member of the County Assembly (MCA) before the end of the term of the member on any of the following grounds:
If the member is found, after due process of the law, to have violated the provisions of Chapter Six of the Constitution;
If the member is found, after due process of the law, to have mismanaged public resources;
If the member is convicted of an offence under the Elections Act, 2011.
Qualifications for election as member of county assembly
(1) Unless disqualified under clause (2), a person is eligible for election as a member of a county assembly if the person--
(a) is registered as a voter;
(b) satisfies any educational, moral and ethical requirements prescribed by this Constitution or an Act of Parliament; and
(c) is either-- (i) nominated by a political party; or
(ii) an independent candidate supported by at least five hundred registered voters in the ward concerned.
(2) A person is disqualified from being elected a member of a county assembly if the person--
(a) is a State officer or other public officer, other than a member of the county assembly;
(b) has, at any time within the five years immediately before the date of election, held office as a member of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission;
(c) has not been a citizen of Kenya for at least the ten years immediately preceding the date of election;
(d) is of unsound mind;
(e) is an undischarged bankrupt;
(f) is serving a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months; or
(g) has been found, in accordance with any law, to have misused or abused a State office or public office or to have contravened Chapter Six.
(3) A person is not disqualified under clause (2) unless all possibility of appeal or review of the relevant sentence or decision has been exhausted.
The County Governments Act (CGA Section 48-53) has established decentralized units for the delivery of services at the counties. These decentralized units are as follows:
1, OFFICE OF THE SUB COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR
These offices are in charge of the sub-counties equivalent to the constituencies within the county as established under Article 89 of the Constitution of Kenya (CoK).
The sub-county administrator is responsible for the coordination, management and supervision of the general administrative functions in the sub-county unit, including :
i. The development of policies and plans;
ii. Service delivery;
iii. developmental activities to empower the community;
iv. The provision and maintenance of infrastructure and facilities of public services;
v. The county public service;
vi. Exercise any functions and powers delegated by the County Public Service Board under section 86; and
vii. Facilitation and coordination of citizen participation in the development of policies and plans and delivery of services.
In carrying out the functions and obligations above, the sub-county administrator is responsible to the relevant county chief officer.
2 OFFICE OF THE WARD ADMINISTRATOR
The office of the ward administrator at the ward level within the county is provided for in Article 89 of the CoK and CGA section 26.
The ward administrator coordinates, manages and supervises the general administrative functions in the ward unit, including:
a) The development of policies and plans;
b) Service delivery;
c) Developmental activities to empower the community;pp
d) The provision and maintenance of infrastructure and facilities of public services;
e) The county public service;
f) Exercise any functions and powers delegated by the County Public Service Board under section 86; and
g) Coordination and facilitation of citizen participation in the development of policies and plans and delivery of services.
In carrying out the functions and obligations above, the ward administrator is responsible to the sub-county administrator.
3- OFFICE OF THE VILLAGE ADMINISTRATOR
There is established the office of the village administrator at the village units determined by the county assembly.A village administrator coordinates, manages and supervises the general administrative functions in the village including:
a) Pursuant to paragraph 14 of Part II of the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution-
i. Ensuring and coordinating the participation of the village unit in governance; and
ii. Assisting the village unit to develop the administrative capacity for the effective exercise of the functions and powers and participation in governance at the local level;
b) The exercise of any functions and powers delegated by the County Public Service Board under section 86
In carrying out the functions and obligations above, a village administrator is responsible to the relevant ward administrator.
4 VILLAGE COUNCIL
A village council comprises:
i. The village administrator who shall be the chairperson of the village council; and
ii. Not less than three and not more than five village elders competitively appointed by the village administrator with the approval of the county assembly, taking into account gender balance.
A village council is responsible for:
a. Ensuring and coordinating the participation of the village unit in governance;
b. Assisting the village unit to develop the administrative capacity for the effective exercise of the functions and powers and participation in governance at the local level;
c. Monitoring the implementation of policies at the village unit;
d. Advising the ward administrator and sub-county administrator on matters pertaining to the village; and
e. Any other function necessary for better administration of the village unit.