Engagement with the County Government
Patriotic Kenyans have worked tirelessly to ensure that the dream of devolution of power is achieved giving birth to devolved units known as the County Government. We need not to get excited or carried away by the new development yet. This is the time to critically examine the indicators and actions required to achieve the effective running of a County Government.
A County Government shall consist of a county assembly and a county executive. Every County Government shall decentralize its functions and the provision of its services to the extent that it is efficient and practicable to do. (Article 176)
The new Constitution o Kenya in Article 175 outlines clearly the principles of a County Government, It states that (a) County Governments shall be based on democratic principles and the separation of powers; (b) County Governments shall have reliable sources of revenue to enable them to govern and deliver services effectively; and (c) no more than two thirds of the members of representative bodies in each County Government shall be of the same gender.
Engagement framework for effective implementation of County Government laws
During a National Convection on the implementation of the New Constitution held by the International Commission of Jurists, Kenyan Section (ICJ-Kenya) and the Kenya Institute of Governance (KIG) under the Parliamentary Initiatives Network (PIN) on the 23rd and 24th of November 2010 a draft civil society action plan on the implementation of the new Constitution was crafted.
This was a framework to facilitate for civil society engagement in the implementation process, both at the National and County levels. Seven key thematic areas were developed which are to be presided over by 4 oversight committees; these thematic areas include public education and participation, litigation, Legislation, Peace building and National cohesion.
Indicators and the action required for engagement with County Government
The County Government is very important, when it comes to the implementation of the Constitution. A key indicator when it comes to devolved units or County Governmentwould be observance of the objectives and principles of devolved government with specific reference to the separation of powers and affirmative action principles.
The actions required for engagement with the County Government in implantation of the Constitution will include the following but not limited to them. Monitoring revenue collection at the County Government; monitoring service delivery; Monitoring gender distribution at the County Government representative bodies; Regular meetings with the County Government executive committees; Review County Government executive reports ; Dissemination of County Government executive reports to the public; Receipt of public views on County Government executive reports; Review of County Government assembly policies on management and exploitation of county resources and development and management of infrastructure and institutions; Participation in the vetting process of the county assembly members; development of County assembly guidelines and criteria; Development of lustration list; Monitor the county assembly’s power to summon witnesses and regular interaction with organized County Government groups