Knowledge of the functions of government helps us to hold them accountable. Schedule 4 (based on articles 185 – 7) of the Constitution provides for the functions of the national government and the county governments.
The national government is in charge of foreign affairs, foreign policy and international trade, the use of international waters and water resources, immigration and citizenship. The relationship between religion and state ensuring a clear separation of religion and State because Kenya is a secular State.
Language policy including sign language, which with Kiswahili are national languages and the promotion of official and local languages, national defence and the use of the national defence services, requiring parliamentary approval to deploy KDF for to support National Police, Police services, including — the setting of standards of recruitment, training of police and use of police services; criminal law; and correctional services.
It also includes courts, national economic policy and planning, monetary policy, currency, banking (including central banking), the incorporation and regulation of banking, insurance, and financial corporations, national statistics and population data.
The government oversees the economy, intellectual property rights, labour standards, consumer protection, including standards for social security and professional pension plans, education policy, standards, curricula, examinations, and the granting of university charters, universities, tertiary educational institutions, and other institutions of research and higher learning and primary schools, secondary schools, and special education institutions.
It is in promotion of sports and sports education, transport and communications, including — road traffic; construction and operation of national trunk roads; standards for the construction and maintenance of other roads by counties; railways; pipelines; marine navigation; civil aviation; space travel; postal services; telecommunications; and radio and television broadcasting.
At local level
It oversees protection of the environment and natural resources with a view to establishing a durable and sustainable system of development including fishing, hunting, and gathering; protection of animals and wildlife; water protection, securing sufficient residual water, hydraulic engineering, and the safety of dams; and energy policy, national referral health facilities, disaster management, and historical monuments.
It is also leads national elections, health policy, agricultural policy, veterinary policy, energy policy including electricity and gas reticulation and energy regulation, capacity building and technical assistance to the counties, public investment, national betting, casinos and other forms of gambling, tourism policy, and development.
Each government is obligated to plan on how it will implement and account for these functions during its tenure. The functions and powers of the county government are agriculture, including crop and animal husbandry; livestock sale yards; county abattoirs; plant and animal disease control; and fisheries, county health services, including—county health facilities and pharmacies; ambulance services; promotion of primary health care; licensing and control of places that sell food to the public; veterinary services (excluding regulation of the profession).
County governments oversee transport, county roads; street lighting; traffic and parking; public road transport; and ferries and harbours, excluding the regulation of international and national shipping, animal control and welfare, including—licensing of dogs; and facilities for the accommodation, care and burial of animals, trade development and regulation, including—markets; trade licences excluding regulation of professions; fair trading practices; local tourism.
They are in cooperative societies, county planning and development, including—statistics; survey and mapping; boundaries and fencing; housing; and electricity and gas reticulation and energy regulation, pre-primary education.
They govern at the local level and assisting communities and locations to develop administrative capacity for the effective exercise of the functions and powers and participation.
Both the national and county governments are obliged to ensure democratic governance and public participation in everything they do.
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