The Star (Nairobi)

17 May 2014

Kenya: MPs Defend 47 New County Heads

Two MPs have defended President Uhuru Kenyatta's decision to appoint the executive county commissioners. Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga and his Kiharu counterpart Irungu Kangata said the appointments are in order.

Cord members said the executive move is "unconstitutional and amounts to undermining devolution". They said it will create unnecessary collision between governors and commissioners in supremacy battles.

On Thursday, Uhuru appointed 47 county commissioners to oversee the functions of the national government.

Yesterday, Chepkonga said the appointments are in line with article 17 of the sixth schedule of the constitution that calls for restructuring of the provincial administration.

"As the chairman of the National Security Council he was just delegating his powers to his nominees at the counties because he cannot chair all the Security Council committee meetings at the counties. They are simply the representatives of the president at the local level," he said.

The Ainabkoi MP who is also the chairman of the House Justice and Legal Affairs committee said that the powers of the Inspector General of police remain intact contrary to claims by Cord.

"The appointments are not in breach of the powers conferred to the Inspector general. They have not been given powers to direct the police what to do but merely direct the affairs of the national government at the devolved units," he said.

However, Mbita MP Millie Mabona through her updates on the social media faulted the move saying it was unconstitutional.

"In a minute Uhuru Kenyatta has drafted and passed a new Constitution," she posted.

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