Devolution Ministry has no role in swearing in Governors-elect, Council says

Devolution Ministry has no role in swearing in Governors-elect, Council says
Council of Governors Chairperson Josphat Nanok, he says that the Devolution Ministry has no role in the swearing in of Governors elect

The Council of Governors, through its chairperson Josphat Nanok, has expressed reservations over the role of the the Ministry of Devolution in the assumption of office by Governors-elect saying that the Ministry has no role in the swearing in of the county chiefs.

In a statement, Nanok says that the Council is concerned by the recent conduct of the Devolution Ministry with regard to the assumption of office of the newly elected Governors.

“The Council is concerned by a recent statement issued by the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Devolution and Planning and would like to categorically state that the assumption of office of the Governor is guided by the Gazette Notice 6409 dated 3rd July, 2017 on the Framework for the Assumption of the Office of Governor which established a Committee to, among others, facilitate the handing over process by the outgoing Governor to the Governor-elect,” the statement reads.

Nanok points out that county governments are independent entities and that the Devolution Ministry is only a member of the committee and therefore has no place in supervising County Governments.

According to the statement, Nanok notes that the committee on the assumption of office is mandated with coordinating the briefings of the Governor-elect by the relevant county public officers, facilitating communication between the outgoing Governor and the Governor-elect, organizing and preparing the programme and for the swearing-in ceremony and that each of the 47 counties have established their own committees.

The COG chair also says that governors are not accountable to the Ministry but the Senate, the County Assemblies, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

“It is in bad faith for the MoDP to demand that outgoing Governors present themselves before parliamentary committees when summoned, oblivious of the recent court decision which ruled that the Senate should not use its powers granted by Article 96 (3) of the Constitution to micromanage the counties. Specifically, before resorting to summons the Senate should consult and mediate on issues raised in the Controller of Budget’s report and promote harmonious co-existence with the counties,” the statement read.

The former Turkana Governor also says that pension which ought to be given to outgoing Governors is strictly a matter to be handled by the county governments.

On Tuesday, August 15, Devolution Cabinet Secretary, Mwangi Kiunjuri, during a press conference at the Treasury offices said that the national government will ensure a smooth process in the swearing-in of Governors-elect and that outgoing Governors facing corruption charges will still be prosecuted.

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Story By Wahome Gitonga
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