August 9

Law requires governors to take oath on same day

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022 00:03 | By
Kimani Wamatangi of UDA is presented with a certificate by Kiambu County Returning Officer Anold Mutwiri after being declared winner of the governor race. PHOTO/Oliver Musembi.

A law passed in 2020 has altered the manner in which governors-elect will take their oath office.

Unlike in past, all governors-elect will be sworn in on Thursday – except in Kakamega and Mombasa where elections were postponed.

Previously, the date of swearing in, venue and rituals of the ceremonies were left to the discretion of the governor-elect and their handlers.

But the Assumption of the Office of the Governor Act, which provides for the procedure and ceremony for the assumption of the Office of Governor, dictates that all the governors-elect must be sworn on a Thursday, the first after the tenth day since the declaration of the election results.

The law, which was drafted by Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi – now governor-elect of the same county – establishes a committee chaired by the County Secretary, and includes officials of the outgoing administration, as well as representatives of the national government to undertake the swearing process whose date, time and place for the of the swearing-in ceremony must be published in the Kenya Gazette.

“The County Governor-elect shall be sworn-in on the first Thursday after the tenth day following the declaration of the final results of the election of the County Governor by the Commission....the Committee shall publish, by notice in the Kenya Gazette and the county Gazette, the date, time and place for the conduct of the swearing-in ceremony,” reads the Act, adding that the swearing-in will be conducted in a public ceremony before a High Court Judge.

Time frame

The committee is chaired by county Secretary and comprises of county principal legal adviser, Chief Officers in the department of Public Service, Information and Communication, Public Works, Roads and Transport and Finance.

County Commissioner, County Police Commander, Clerk of the County Assembly and two persons nominated by the Governor-elect will also be part of the committee.

During the swearing-in ceremony, the governor-elect will take and subscribe to the oath of office as prescribed in the Act and the affirmation must be administered not earlier than 10:00am and not later than 2:00pm.

Pursuant to the law, Wamatangi will be sworn in on Thursday at Kirigiti International Stadium, Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi) will take the oath of office at KICC, Murang’a’s Irungu Kang’ata will take office at Ihura Stadium and in Nakuru, Susan Kihika’s ceremony will take place at Nakuru ASK Show grounds.

In Nanyuki, the County Secretary Karanja Njora has gazetted Nanyuki Stadium as the venue where Joshua Irungu of Laikipia, who made a comeback,will be sworn in.

Meru Woman Rep Kawira Mwangaza, who beat incumbent Kiraitu Murungi, will be sworn in at Kinoru Stadium, Cecily Mbarire will take the oath of office at Embu University grounds while Nyandarua’s Moses Kiarie will be sworn in at Arboretum Grounds in Ol-Kalou.

Uasin Gishu’s Jonathan Bii’s ceremony  will be held at Sports Club Grounds, Eldoret, George Natembeya of Trans Nzoia will be sworn in at Kitale Show Ground, Kitui’s Julius Malombe’s event will take place at Ithookwe Show Ground, Mutula Kilonzo Jnr of Makueni will take the oath of office at Unoa Grounds in Wote Town while Machakos’ Wavinya Ndeti will be sworn in at Kenyatta Stadium.

Upon subscribing to the oath, the governor will sign a certificate of inauguration in the presence of the High Court judge who conducts the swearing in ceremony and the outgoing governor will handover county symbols, including the county flag, county coat of arms, the Constitution and the county public seal,  as a sign of transfer of power and authority.

Assets summary

Failure by the outgoing governor to handover the instruments of power will not invalidate the assumption to the office by the new county chief.

Besides handling transitions, the committee also has a responsibility of coming up with a summary of assets currently held by the county government derived from an up-to-date assets registers in conformity with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012, the Public Finance Management (County Government) Regulations 2015 and Guidelines issued by the Public Sector Accounting Standards Board, the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015 and the Public Procurement Regulations 2006 to avoid theft during the transition.

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