Prime Minister Raila Odinga has rejected President Kibaki’s appointment of 47 county commissioners, saying he was not consulted.
He also wondered what their job would be since the Constitution says it’s governors who will be running counties.
The Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) said the appointments should be done afresh because the President did not follow the spirit of the law in making them.
Five Orange Democratic Movement Cabinet ministers have also opposed the selection, many arguing that they were not fair to all tribes.
On Sunday, Mr Odinga’s spokesman, Mr Dennis Onyango, said: “The PM says he was not consulted. He also does not understand what their specific roles are because the Constitution says that governors will be in charge of the counties. He feels their appointment is a recipe for chaos in the counties,” Mr Onyango stated.
While making the appointments on Friday, State House explained that they were in line with Section 17 of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
The sections says: “Within five years after the effective date, the national government shall restructure the system of administration commonly known as the provincial administration to accord with and respect the system of devolved government established under this Constitution.”
The county commissioners will coordinate security, national government functions and delivery of services, according to the announcement from the President Press Service (PPS).
“In this regard, President Mwai Kibaki has appointed County Commissioners to undertake coordination of National Government functions in the 47 counties,” said the PPS.
But Mr Nyachae, in an interview with the Daily Nation, argued that the appointments were not transparent.
“Section 17 is clear that the restructuring must accord respect to the devolved system of government and Constitution. . . To purport to address the issue without transparency, public participation and an agreed legal framework offends the Constitution,” he said.
Mr Nyachae said the restructuring of the provincial administration must clearly define the officials’ relationship with other offices such as county governors.
It should also involve other interested parties, such as his commission and Parliament.
He argued that the “national government” mentioned in the law will only be put in place after the next elections and currently the country is run by a central government.
On Saturday, Cabinet ministers Dan Mwazo (Tourism), Amason Kingi (Fisheries), Otieno Kajwang (Immigration), Franklin Bett (Roads), Fred Gumo (Local Government) said the appointments favoured the Mt Kenya region.
“It is disappointing to see that the one region has 10 commissioners while some did not get a single slot,” Mr Kingi complained.
Internal Security assistant minister Orwa Ojodeh defended the list, saying the commissioners were picked on merit.
“The appointments were based on merit and seniority and not tribes so people should stop reading mischief,” he said. The Federation of Women Lawyers also accused the President of giving women a raw deal.
But Central Organisation of Trade Unions secretary-general Francis Atwoli said the list was inclusive.
“Every community and gender is represented in the appointments including the marginalised,” Mr Atwoli stated. (READ: Exit the all powerful PCs as county commissioners named
Reported by Peter Leftie, Jonathan Manyindo and Lillian Onyango