Gazettement of nominated MCAs delays swearing-in of ward reps

A storm is gathering over the swearing-in of Members of County Assemblies with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission delaying the process.

After the swearing-in of Governors, they were expecting the MCA’s to follow suit to aid swift transition without stalling county services.

The law mandates county governors to gazette the first sitting of their respective assemblies after the IEBC has gazetted all MCAs.

Last week, the Wafula Chebukati-led commission gazetted all the 1,450 MCAs-elect who are awaiting to be sworn in across the 47 counties.

IEBC is yet to gazette nominated MCAs to fully constitute the 47 assemblies. In 2017, the MCAs were sworn in on September 6.

After the gazettement of the date of the first sitting by the governor, the clerk will declare the position of the speaker vacant and invite interested individuals to apply for the seat.

In their first sitting, the house will elect a speaker and swear-in members.

“The clerk shall administer the oath of office provided for in the First Schedule of the County Governments Act, 2012, to all members present,” the standing orders read.

The new governors will have to await the swearing of the MCA’s to vet and approve nominees for appointment to county public offices and approve the budget and expenditure of the county government.

Governors cannot borrow without County Assemblies which have to approve the borrowing by the county government and approve county development planning.

First-time governors will need to take lessons from their predecessors on how to treat the MCAs. Since the culmination of County Governments, six governors have been impeached with some like Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru rescued by the Senate.

10 governors have to navigate their county affairs without a majority in the county assemblies that in the past have been stormed by upheaval and standoffs.

Projects running into billions of shillings ended up stalling as governors engaged in unending political wrangling with ward reps for control of devolved units.

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