20 June 2014

Kenya: 47 Counties Slow to Pass Basic Law - EU

THE European Union yesterday said the 47 county assemblies generate laws at a very low rate.

In a report it released at the Stanley Hotel, Nairobi yesterday, the EU says most counties have not established laws governing village units and urban areas as required by the Constitution.

The report titled "Tracking and Monitoring of Devolution Activities and County Performance", says counties do not accord priority to the establishment of the units.

It indicates that some counties have not filled the position of county executive committees, which is crucial for the county governments' operations.

"To ensure proper service delivery to Kenyans, the full executive committee should be in place within a specified period after the swearing in of the governor," the report says.

EU recommends that the County Government Act be amended to provide for the governor to nominate the executive and the the county assembly approves.

Without naming counties, the report by the body said some counties have not developed the county integrated development plan which is a requirement before counties taking off.

"The spatial and sectoral plan are not in place as required by law. Planning being the basis for budgeting, the reasons for failure by counties to develop required plans should be be identified and necessary intervention measures implemented," the report said.

The report said one of the principles of governance is public participation in a participatory manner and the national and county government should provide mechanisms for the programme.

"This survey found out that 79.2 per cent of the county governments have established mechanisms to enable citizens to participate in budget preparations but 50 per cent of the counties are then only ones which are incorporating the views," the report said.

Last year, Kiambu County residents moved to the High Court declaring that the Finance Act was illegal as there was no public participation.

In his judge last month, Judge George Odunga said the gazettement of the bill was null and void since input from members of the public was not incorporated in the bill.

"Kiambu like any of the 47 counties should involve their people in terms of public participation to draft such a bill in the spirit of the constitution," he declared.

The report suggested that for county governments to involve people at the local level a public participation framework should be developed for county governments to domesticate it.

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