Attorney general denies blame in delayed transfer of devolved functions

Prof Muigai accused the county bosses of telling half-truths on the issue of functions transfer.

Thursday January 7 2016

Attorney-General (AG) Githu Muigai addresses participants during the Eminent Person's Forum on Kenya's human rights agenda at Intercontinental Hotel, on November 30, 2015. Prof Muigai accused county bosses, on January 6, 2016, of telling half-truths on the issue of functions transfer to counties. PHOTO | ROBERT NGUGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Attorney-General (AG) Githu Muigai addresses participants during the Eminent Person's Forum on Kenya's human rights agenda at Intercontinental Hotel, on November 30, 2015. Prof Muigai accused county bosses, on January 6, 2016, of telling half-truths on the issue of functions transfer to counties. PHOTO | ROBERT NGUGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SILAS APOLLO
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Attorney-General Githu Muigai on Wednesday defended his office against accusations by governors that he was to blame for delays in full transfer of functions to counties.

Prof Muigai accused the county bosses of telling half-truths on the issue of functions transfer.

Council of Governors (COG) said on Tuesday that the AG’s office had refused to gazette a number of functions approved by the Transition Authority (TA), thereby affecting service delivery in counties.

The governors named roads, agriculture, provincial administration, water services, which they said were still under the national government contrary to the Constitution.

Ms Jacqueline Mogeni, the CoG chief executive on Wednesday said the refusal by the AG’s office to gazette functions as advised by the TA was to blame for the delays.

“The Attorney-General for instance refused to gazette some of the functions that the Transition Authority through the Senate forwarded to him contending that functions needed to have been transferred in a phased manner,” she told the Nation.

But Prof Muigai said that contrary to the claims, his office can only gazette functions once they have been approved by all agencies mandated by law to oversee the transfers.

“The devolution of functions is undertaken after an exhaustive consultative process that involves the Transition Authority which, in itself, has a wide representation of various agencies,” he said.

On the roads function, Prof Muigai said the process of transfer, which sometimes involves parliamentary committees, can only be gazetted once all avenues have been exhausted.

“Once an agreement has been reached, then the AG drafts a gazettement of the said functions. There has not been any deliberate effort to impede devolution,” the AG added.

The Constitution has given the government until March 2016, when the TA term ends, to ensure all functions assigned to counties are fully transferred.

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