CoG issues guidelines on new governors swearing-in
As the country gears towards the August 9 General Election, the Council of Governors (CoG) has issued guidelines to be followed in swearing-in new office bearers.
Among other things, the CoG proposes swearing-in of the County Governor-elect shall be held on the first Thursday after the 10th day following the declaration of the final election results, in a public ceremony before a High Court Judge.
In a statement signed by the Chairman Legal, Constitutional Affairs & Intergovernmental Relations Committee Kiraitu Murungi at least 20 governors will have concluded their two-term tenure of 10 years.
“This year’s General Election will mark the end of the second Generation of County Governments. It is therefore of utmost importance that the transition is well managed as we await to usher in the next administration,” said Kiraitu who is also the Meru Governor.
“The Council of Governors is cognizant of the changes that will be experienced in the counties and we anticipate that the transition will be smooth noting that we now have in place The Assumption of the Office of Governor Act, 2019 prior to which there was no prevailing legal framework guiding the assumption of office for the Governor or the Deputy,” read the statement.
This follows a three-day conference of the CoGs with County Secretaries and County Attorneys held on March 14-16, on the preparation for the assumption of office to facilitate a seamless transition.
“During the meeting, counties shared experiences in previous transitions which occurred before and after the enactment of the legislation with a view to sharing best practices,” it pointed out.
The council also recommended the establishment of the Assumption of the Office of Governor ad-hoc committee by each county to oversee and guide the transition from one government to the other.
The law has also provided for the functions of the committee, key among them being; publishing by notice in the Kenya Gazette and County gazette, the date, time and place for the conduct of the swearing in ceremony.
The ad-hoc committee will also coordinate the handing over of County symbols as the law requires the outgoing Governor to hand over the to the Governor-elect: the county flag, the county coat of arms, the constitution and the county public seal.
All counties are also required to ensure full implementation of the Office of the County Attorney Act, 2019 to ensure smooth transition and to avoid loopholes for potential litigation that may arise with the new administration.
This will also include provision of relevant information and disclosure to the Governor - elect within the set timeline, failure to which will attract a fine of up to Sh300,000 will be imposed on the concerned public officers.
“Smooth leadership transitions are a cornerstone of the democratic process. The Council of Governors remains committed to promoting good governance and ensuring a successful and peaceful transition come August 2022. We call upon all policy makers and stakeholders to collaborate and cooperate in this noble cause,” read the statement.