County Executive Committee: Composition

 

First and foremost, the composition of the County Executive must reflect the diversity of the County and meet the gender threshold of the Constitution. Part 7 - General:

197. (1) Not more than two-thirds of the members of any ....... county executive committee shall be of the same gender.
(2) Parliament shall enact legislation to— (a) ensure that the community and cultural diversity of a county is reflected in its ....... county executive committee; and (b) prescribe mechanisms to protect minorities within counties.

The table below gives the composition of the County Executive:

 

Table 2. Composition of the County Executive Committee

 

Executive Office
Provisions
Governor CEO of the County.
Deputy Governor Deputy CEO of the County and presides in the absence of Governor.

County Executive Committee

Nominees of the Governor; must reflect the face of the County and fulfill gender parity.

Devolved Location Executive Committees

Must reflect the face of the Location including minorities and marginalised, fulfill gender parity, etc.

 

Each County Executive Committee will consist of a Governor (and Deputy) elected by the people of that County, and nominees of the governor to work under the governor, and appointed with the approval of the Assembly for purposes of checks and balance:

179. (2) The county executive committee consists of— (a) the county governor and the deputy county governor; and (b) members appointed by the county governor, with the approval of the assembly, from among persons who are not members of the assembly.
(6) Members of a county executive committee are accountable to the county governor for the performance of their functions and exercise of their powers.

As per the objectives of devolution which require prudent and efficient management of resources, County governments must not be top-heavy but are required to maintain a lean bureaucracy:

(3) The number of members appointed under clause (2) (b) shall not exceed— (a) one-third of the number of members of the county assembly, if the assembly has less than thirty members; or (b) ten, if the assembly has thirty or more members.

If there is a change at the top whereby a Governor is removed from office for whatever reason, then the incoming elected Governor is entitled to form a new Committee with which to work:

(7) If a vacancy arises in the office of the county governor, the members of the county executive committee appointed under clause (2) (b) cease to hold office.

In contrast, if a vacancy arises as a result of the death or resignation of the Governor, for example, the Deputy Governor automatically becomes Governor, and inherits the existing County Executive Committee.

The Governor will serve for a limited term, perhaps to allow for dynamism and injection of fresh leadership at the devolved units:

180. (7) A person shall not hold office–– (a) as a county governor for more than two terms; or (b) as a deputy county governor for more than two terms.

As the reader will have noticed by now, most public offices created by the Constitution of Kenya 2010 have fixed term limits. This is a welcome provision given that in the past, well-connected and monied individuals have occupied elective positions for decades.

NB. The discussion on Politics & Elections Under the New Constitution examines the manner of election and nomination of the Governor.

The Counties have been granted wide mandates as listed in the Fourth Schedule - Distribution of Functions between the National Government and the County Governments, Part 2 - County Governments, discussed below under the section on 'Functions and Powers of County Governments' . This means each of the 47 Counties of Kenya must set up and oversee an extensive county public service bureaucracy. Chapter 13 - The Public Service, Part 2 - The Public Service Commission, Article 235, excerpts:

235. (1) A county government is responsible, within a framework of uniform norms and standards prescribed by an Act of Parliament, for–– (a) establishing and abolishing offices in its public service; (b) appointing persons to hold or act in those offices, and confirming appointments; and (c) exercising disciplinary control over and removing persons holding or acting in those offices.

These norms and standards are provided in the details of Part VII - County Public Service, of the County Government Act 2012. The Act provides for County Service Boards to establish and administer own public service, among other functions.

 

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