Embu MCAs want governors to appoint deputies

Sonko and Igathe
Nairobi Governor-elect, Mike Sonko, and Deputy Governor-elect, Polycarp Igathe, at a past event.

Two Embu County Assembly members have supported a bill by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen seeking to give definite roles to deputy governors.

This comes after Murkomen last week said he will sponsor a bill that allows governors to appoint new deputy governors upon their resignation within 14 days upon approval by their County Assemblies.

The bill follows last week’s shock resignation of Nairobi County Deputy Polycarp Igathe.

Embu County Assembly Deputy Speaker Steve Munene and Majority leader Michael Njeru said they fully support Murkomen’s plan.

Mr. Munene said the bill has come at the right time as deputy governors roles have been in question despite them drawing huge hefty salaries.

“It is unwise to pay someone such huge amounts of money, yet their job description is clearly not outlined by the law,” said Munene. “The role of the Deputy Speaker is also a grey area and should be addressed.”

Munene, who is also the Runyenjes Central Ward MCA, said the bill will be ideal since the new office holder(s) will not have been elected directly by voters.

He further added that the bill should also address the position of Deputy Speakers should the speaker not be in position to carry out their duties.

Mr. Njeru says the Constitution and other existing laws do not specify how a deputy governor should be appointed in the event of resignation or any other circumstances, thus leaving an unfilled gap forcing governors to operate alone.

“The governor should be able to appoint a deputy in case his first deputy resigns. Also, in the event of death of a governor and the deputy takes over, he/she should be able to appoint a deputy. These are some of the gaps in our constitution that we seek to address,” said Njeru.

Njeru asked the Senate to include in its amendments clear-cut roles, duties or portfolios for the deputy governors to avoid scenarios in which they only idle in offices mostly reading newspapers.


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