Senate to debate Bill on new governors - Daily Nation

Senate to debate Bill on how new governors assume office

Wednesday February 14 2018

Kimani Wamatangi

Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi wants counties which are major revenue contributors to be rewarded with at least 10 per cent of the revenue collected by their respective citizens. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ERIC WAINAINA
More by this Author

A Bill proposing how new governors should assume office after a General Election will be debated afresh at the Senate.

This is after it was published afresh.

Sponsored by Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi, the Assumption of the Office of Governor Bill, 2016, seeks to establish an arrangement for the swearing-in of new county bosses after they are declared winners.

Mr Wamatangi Tuesday said he had made amendments, republished and reintroduced the Bill whose contents were lifted by the Devolution Ministry to plan the swearing-in of new governors who were elected last year.

“When Parliament goes into sine die, the requirement is that when you come back, you have to revive (the Bill) by reintroducing it, which I have already done and signed it afresh (and) so it is now taking the final journey,” Mr Wamatangi said.

PUBLIC CEREMONY

The Bill, which will go for the first reading Wednesday, proposes that all governors and their deputies must be sworn in on the same day, and in a public ceremony which must be done between 10 am and 2 pm.

According to the Bill, governors who lose in an election must attend the ceremony, where they will be required to publicly pass the symbols of authority to the winners.

After the August 8 elections, governors were sworn in on different days. Some of the governors who lost in the polls,   notably in Meru, Tharaka-Nithi and Kitui, skipped the ceremonies.

HANDING OVER

The proposed law seeks to create an ad hoc committee to be chaired by county secretaries to facilitate the handing over process.

It sets the swearing-in day as the first Tuesday following the 21st day after the declaration of the election results.

Upon taking the oath, the governor shall sign a certificate of inauguration in the presence of the resident High Court Judge or the resident Chief Magistrate. Mr Wamatangi said the Bill aims to seal a loophole left out in the County Government Act that opened the way for arbitrary assumption of office by the county chiefs.

After the 2013 elections, governors took their offices without a particular order as there was a void in law to guide the ceremony.

The proposed law will compel governors to submit an inventory of county assets and liabilities before leaving office, in what the senator said is aimed at safeguarding public assets from theft during transition.