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You won't be scrapped, Mudavadi tells councils

BUSINESS
By | Nov 16th 2010 | 2 min read
By | November 16th 2010
BUSINESS

By PATRICK BEJA and JOSEPH MASHA

Councils will not be scrapped when county governments take effect after the 2012 polls, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi says.

Instead, councillors would become county assembly members charged with a greater role, Mr Mudavadi clarified.

Speaking at Mtwapa in Kilifi yesterday, the Local Government minister assured the more than 3,000 civic leaders that their jobs were safe.

The minister, accompanied by PS Karega Mutahi, was in Mtwapa to launch a Strategic Urban Development Plan.

"The councillors will become county assembly members under a new Act of Parliament that will replace Chapter 265 under which Local Authorities currently operate," Mudavadi added.

Mudavadi said he had set up a task force to come up with recommendations by next June on how counties should operate under the new Constitution.

The new Act would provide details on how urban towns and cities should be run, particularly in Nairobi and Mombasa.

"The task force will figure out how to deal with cities like Nairobi and Mombasa where mayors will be elected," he said. He added: "Whatever law we come up with, it must not be in conflict with the new Constitution."

He said the county assemblies would have more powers and would further decentralise services by setting up teams to manage certain areas under their jurisdiction.

"For instance, Kilifi County may set up a team to manage Mtwapa," he said.

At the same time, the minister warned councillors against ‘coups’ to irregularly replace their Local Authority chairmen and mayors, saying he would not approve of such actions.

"There is a time Local Authorities hold elections and ‘coups’ held after that are all illegal because they are not provided for under the law. I will not entertain elections which are not scheduled," Mudavadi warned.

Illegal disposal

Meanwhile, Mudavadi said some Local Authorities were rushing to dispose of assets ahead of the establishment of county governments.

He said some councillors were targeting council plots for sale without following procedure or ratification from the ministry. He warned such officials would be prosecuted.

"We are going to work closely with the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission to ensure those disposing the assets are prosecuted," he said.

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