The County Governments in Kenya


The constitution of Kenya creates 47 county governments. This number is based on the delineation of administrative districts as created under the Provinces and Districts Act of 1992.

Counties in Kenya are:

1    Mombasa County
2    Kwale County
3    Kilifi County
4    Tana River County
Lamu County
6   Taita/Taveta County
7    Garissa County
8    Wajir County
9    Mandera    County
10    Marsabit    County
11    Isiolo    County
12    Meru County
13    Tharaka-Nithi County
14    Embu County
15    Kitui County
16    Machakos County
17    Makueni County
18    Nyandarua County
19    Nyeri County
20    Kirinyaga County
21    Murang’a County
22    Kiambu County
23    Turkana County
24    West Pokot County
25    Samburu County
26    Trans Nzoia County
27    Uasin Gishu County
28    Elgeyo Marakwet County
29    Nandi County
30    Baringo County
31    Laikipia County
32    Nakuru County
33    Narok County
34    Kajiado County
35    Kericho County
36    Bomet County
37    Kakamega County
38    Vihiga County
39    Bungoma County
40    Busia County
41    Siaya County
42    Kisumu County
43    Homa Bay County
44    Migori County
45    Kisii County
46    Nyamira County
47    Nairobi County

The structure of county government includes:

County assemblies, county executive committees and county public service. The Proposed Constitution also provides for the sources of funds for the county governments.

The county governments oversee:

  1. agriculture (crop and animal husbandry).
  2. fisheries.
  3. county health services.
  4. cultural activities.
  5. public entertainment and public amenities.
  6. county transport.
  7. trade development and regulation.
  8. county planning and development.
  9. pre-primary education, village polytechnics, home craft centres and childcare Facilities.
  10. implementation of specifi c national government policies on natural resources, environmental conservation.
  11. county public works and services.

Boundaries of Counties

The boundaries of a county will be drawn and may be altered only by a resolution:

  1. recommended by an independent commission set up for that purpose by Parliament, and
  2. passed by:
  3. – the National Assembly with the support of at least two thirds of all of the members of the Assembly; and
    – the Senate with the support of at least two-thirds of all of the county delegations.

The boundaries of a county may be altered when the following factors are put into consideration:opulation density and demographic trends.

  1. physical and human infrastructure.
  2. historical and cultural ties.
  3. cost of administration.
  4. views of the communities affected.
  5. objects of devolution of government.
  6. geographical features.

County Assemblies

A county assembly consists of:
1. members elected by the registered voters of the wards in a general election.
2. the number of special seats necessary to ensure that no more than two-thirds of the membership of the assembly are of the same gender.
3. members of marginalised groups, including persons with disabilities and the youth, as prescribed by an Act of Parliament.
4. the Speaker, who is an ex offi cio member. The members in 2 and 3 are to be nominated by political parties in proportion to the seats received in the election in a particular county.

Functions of County Assemblies

The functions include:

  1. making laws for the effective performance of the county government.
  2. exercising oversight over the county executive committee.
  3. receiving and approving plans and policies for:
    – managing and exploiting the county’s resources, and
    – developing and managing the infrastructure and institutions.

Eligibility for election to a County Assembly

One is eligible if he/she:

  1. is registered as a voter.
  2. satisfies educational, moral and ethical requirements
  3. prescribed by law.
  4. is either:
    – nominated by a political party; or
    – an independent candidate supported by at least five hundred registered voters in the Ward concerned.

A person is disqualified from being elected a member of a county assembly if the person:

  1. is a State officer or other public offi cer.
  2. has at any time within past five years held office as a member of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
  3. has not been a citizen of Kenya for at least ten years before the date of election.
  4. is of unsound mind.
  5. is an undischarged bankrupt.
  6. is serving a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months.
  7. has been found in accordance with any law to have
  8. misused or abused a State or public office.

County Executive Committees

The executive authority of the county is vested in thecounty executive committee.

The committee consists of:

  1. the county governor and the deputy county governor; and
  2. members appointed by the county governor, with the approval of the assembly, from among persons who are not members of the assembly.

The number of members of the committee should not exceed:

  1. one-third of the number of members of the county assembly, if the assembly has less than thirty members; or
  2. ten, if the assembly has thirty or more members.

The county governor and the deputy county governor are the chief executive and deputy chief executive of the county respectively.
Members of a county executive committee are accountable to the county governor for the performance of their functions and exercise of their powers. If a vacancy arises in the offi ce of the county governor,the members of the county executive committee cease to hold offi ce but the executive committee of the county, as last constituted remains competent to perform administrative functions until a new executive committee is constituted in case
of election.

Functions of county executive committees

are to:

  1. implement county legislation.
  2. implement, within the county, national legislation to the extent that the legislation so requires.
  3. manage and coordinate the functions of the county administration and its departments.
  4. prepare proposed legislation for consideration by the county assembly.
  5. provide the county assembly with full and regular reports on matters relating to the county.

County Governor and Deputy County Governor The county governor is directly elected by the voters registered in the county at a general election for a term of 5 years and, if re-elected, can serve for another fi nal term of 5 years.
To be eligible for election as county governor, a person must be eligible for election as a member of the county assembly.

Each candidate for election as county governor will nominate a person as his/her running mate to be the deputy governor.

Removal of a County Governor

A county governor may be removed from offi ce on any of the following grounds:

  1. gross violation of this Constitution or any other law.
  2. there are serious reasons for believing that the county governor has committed a crime under national or international law.
  3. abuse of offi ce or gross misconduct.
  4. physical or mental incapacity to perform the functions of offi ce of county governor.

Staffing of County Governments

A county government is responsible, within a framework of uniform norms and standards prescribed by an Act
of Parliament for:

  1. establishing and abolishing offi ces in its public service.
  2. appointing persons to hold or act in those offices, and confi rming appointments.

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