Head of Public Service says transition committee to take over after IEBC declares winner

The Assumption of office of the President Committee addressing the media. [Denish Ochieng, Standard] 

The Assumption of office of the President Committee says it will start the transition process once the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declares the winner of Tuesday's polls.

This comes hours since the electoral commission chair Wafula Chebukati started reading out verified presidential results from constituencies at the national tallying centre in Bomas of Kenya.

In a press statement on Friday noon, the Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua who also chairs the transition committee said that the team will be making periodic briefings once the transition process kicks off.

“The mandate of the committee will be triggered once the IEBC formally announces the results of the August 9 elections and declares the president-elect,” Kinyua said.

Apart from organizing and programming the swearing-in ceremony, Kinyua says they will be working on facilitating the handing over and taking over the process, and organising for security, facilities and personnel of the president-elect.

They will also coordinate the president-elect’s briefings by relevant public officers as well as the communication between the outgoing and incoming heads of state.

The Committee comprises Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, Cabinet Secretary for Interior Dr Fred Matiang’i, Chief of Kenya Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi, Director of National Intelligence Services Major General Philip Wachira Kameru, Inspector of the National Police Service Hillary Mutyambai, and Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi.

Other members of the committee are eight Permanent Secretaries, a Clerk of The National Assembly, and three persons nominated by the President-elect.

The law provides for the committee to facilitate the handing over the process by the outgoing president to the president-elect.

As soon as polls opened on August 9, President Uhuru Kenyatta entered the “temporary incumbency” phase.

This means that he will be holding the seat as a caretaker leader preparing to hand it over to the next Head of State.

The Constitution deprives him of certain powers during this phase.

Article 134 of the Constitution says the outgoing Head of State loses the powers to nominate or appoint judges of the superior courts.

Moreover, the president loses the power to nominate or appoint any public officer; nominate, appoint or sack a Cabinet Secretary (CS), Principal Secretary (PS) and other State officers.

He is required to establish the committee 30 days before the general election.

The committee became operational when former President Mwai Kibaki signed it into law on August 27, 2012, five years after the disputed 2007 presidential elections.

That was after the opposition team, led by Raila Odinga demanded that Kibaki resigns, accusing him of swearing himself into office at night, despite the disputed outcome of the presidential poll.

The Act provides for the procedure and ceremony for the assumption of the office of the president by the president-elect in accordance with article 141 of the constitution.

Although it was signed in 2012, the Act only came into force on March 4, 2013, the General election was won by President Uhuru Kenyatta with William Ruto as his Deputy.