Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri proposes one more year for Transition Authority

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri speaks yesterday during a press conference at Treasury Building. [PHOTO: FIDELIS KABUNYI/Standard]

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has rejected a request by the Transition Authority (TA) to have its mandate extended by three years.

Instead, Mr Kiunjuri has proposed a one-year extension for the Kinuthia Wamwangi-led TA to complete its mandate.

The authority, whose term expires on March 4, argues that its core functions are still pending.

"As the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Devolution, I am convinced based on the report on the workload, that there is need for such an extension but the decision lies with constitutional institutions which include the Senate and the National Assembly," said Kiunjuri.

He said the ministry would engage key stakeholders in discussing the matter, among them Council of Governors, the office of the Attorney General, the Treasury and the Kenya Law Reform Commission.

"My ministry will convene in two weeks' time, a meeting with the said stakeholders to discuss the proposed extension of term the Transition Authority is requesting," he said.

The CS said the Constitution did not envisage the heavy workload that the authority has had to contend with.

Former Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru last March named the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IRTC) to replace TA.

Kiunjuri moved to dispel fears that the existence of the two bodies would brood conflict.

Mr Wamwangi noted that it would be "disaster" if the authority's mandate was not extended.

But governors have asked Parliament to reject a plea to extended TA's term by three years.

Instead, the county bosses want more resources injected to IRTC for capacity building in preparations to take over residue responsibilities from TA upon the expiry of the latter's term in March 2016.

Speaking yesterday in his office, the governors chair Peter Munya insisted that TA had no business staying in office after March 4.

"The Constitution is very clear in Schedule Six, Article 15, that once TA's term expires, the IRTC which is already in place should take up the residue functions. But clearly, there should be no pending functions left by their last date in office," said Munya.

The Meru governor admitted that TA has had hiccups in its course of duty majorly due to denial of funds by the national government.

However, TA argues that additional time is inevitable as only 65 per cent of its mandate has been executed with the remaining 35 per cent being "the most crucial part".