CIC faults proposed law that seeks to establish county development boards

The Senate during a past session.

The Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) has warned that the County Government Bill published by the Senate is against the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

CIC has blamed the Senate for violating the provision of Article 261 of the Constitution, which outlines the process to be followed in the generation of legislations.

Commission Chair Charles Nyachae said the Constitution requires that the Attorney General (AG), in consultation with CIC, prepare Bills for tabling in Parliament.

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“We note that the County Government Amendment Bill being pushed by the Senate has not met the letter and spirit of the Constitution. We feel that there will be duplication of roles between the two governments,” said Nyachae.

Established forums

In a letter addressed to the AG Githu Muigai and copied to  Senate Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye, Council of Governors chairman Isaac Ruto and Kenya Law Reform Commission chair Mbage Ng’ang’a, CIC said that the establishment of a County Development Board would be a duplication of the functions of the already established forums at the county level.

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According to the proposed amendment, the Senate wants the County Development Board to comprise of members of the National Assembly, Senate and representations of the County Assembly.

Nyachae notes that the proposed amendment, which provides for an alternative forum for discussion and adoption of county plans and budgets, would be in contravention of the provisions relating to public participation as provided for in the Constitution, the County Governments Act, the Public Finance Management Act and the Intergovernmental Relations Act.

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CIC notes what is envisaged in the legislation can be achieved through public participation forums.

Nyachae cautioned that spending money on duplicated functions contravenes Article 201(d) of the Constitution, which calls for prudent and responsible use of public money.

CIC also points out that the Bill is silent on how costs that may be incurred in the administration and possible employment of staff of the Board in each county will be met.

“Given that the membership of the Board draws on persons from the national and county governments, the Bill does not address whether the aforementioned costs would be a charged of revenue allocated to the county government or the national government,” adds Nyachae.

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Senate Charles Nyachae Constitution Kenya Law Reform Commission