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Governors oppose Bill seeking to usurp their powers

By RAWLINGS OTIENO and ISAACK MESO | September 20th 2013


Governors are up in arms over a new Bill introduced in the Senate, which they claim seeks to usurp their powers.

They have vowed to put up a spirited fight to overturn the move.

The governors claim the Bill tabled by Nandi Senator Stephen Sang seeking to amend the County Government Act violates the Constitution and want the amendment dropped.

The Bill seeks to introduce the County Development Board where the senator will be the chair while the governor will be the secretary.

The board shall, among other things, provide a forum at the county level for consultation between the national and the county governments, coordinate and harmonise county development plans and projects and consider and adopt county integrated development plans before they are tabled in the county assembly for approval.

The Bill proposes that the composition of the board includes a woman’s representative, nominated senators, MPs, MCAs, the leaders of both majority and minority of the county assembly and the speaker of the county assembly.

 “There will no longer be any executive role by the governors to discharge their duties if the senators and other elected leaders end up the development board. We feel this should be consultative but not anchored in any law,” Council of Governors Vice Chair Evans Kidero said.

Addressing the press on Thursday, Kidero claimed that the government was using underhand schemes to tame the governors over their quest for a referendum by introducing an amendment Bill to usurp their powers.

The governors warned that should the Bill be passed in its current form, they would seek both legal and political redress.

Kidero, who is also the Nairobi Governor, said the Bill was unconstitutional since it negates the principal of separation of powers.

“National government cannot dictate development in the county governments. This is purely the role of County Executive as stipulated in the Constitution,” added Kidero.

He said the Bill attempts to claw back the powers of the county governments that are articulated in Article Six of the Constitution.

The governors, in a statement read by Kidero, claimed that the Members of the National Assembly were carrying out many devolved functions, which should be under the county government.

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