Uhuru ends deputy governors’ vacancies impasse

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday signed into law six Bills which seek to streamline teething transition issues at county governments.

He signed the County Attorneys Bill of 2018 which created the office of county attorney to be appointed by governors.

The 47 devolved units will also each have a county solicitor, and such other number of county legal counsel as the county attorney may consider necessary.

He assented to the County Governments (Amendment) No. 2 Bill, 2017 which outlines the procedure for termination or suspension of a county government.

The law provides for timelines – 14 days within which the President will now be required to communicate a decision on such a petition after receiving report of a commission formed to hear such a plea.

The President will, therefore, submit to the Speaker of the Senate within the said period a memorandum stating his satisfaction or otherwise to dissolve a county.

He also signed into law the County Governments (Amendment) Bill of 2017, which provides for qualifications of a persons seeking to be appointed as a county secretary.

It also spells that governors will now have to nominate a candidate for deputy governor within 14 days of a vacancy in the office.

MCAs will also have a say in the appointment and removal of a deputy governor with the law further providing that a deputy governor-elect will be sworn in as acting governor in the event a governor-elect dies or is unable to assume office, for whatever reason.

“When a deputy governor-elect dies before assuming office, the office shall be declared vacant by the incoming governor.”

“When a governor’s office falls vacant, the deputy governor will within 14 days take over for the remainder of the term.”

The President also assented to the Public Finance Management (Amendment) Bill, 2020, denying Parliament the leeway to create special expenses accounts.

The National Drought Management (Amendment) Bill of 2019 which provides for establishing the National Drought Emergency Fund was also signed into law.

The signing ceremony was attended by Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and his Senate counterpart Ken Lusaka.

Also present were the Senate Majority leader Samuel Poghisio, his National Assembly counterpart Amos Kimunya and State House Deputy Chief of Staff Njee Muturi.

Edited by R.Wamochie

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