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County Assembly / Government in Kenya

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County Assembly / Government in Kenya will consist of members elected by voters of the wards – each ward being a single member constituency – representatives of people with disabilities and the youth nominated by political parties depending on their strength in the assembly, and the Speaker, an ex officio member.

A county assembly will be elected for a term of five years. Its Speaker will be elected by the county assembly from among people who are not assembly members.

The Speaker will preside or in his or her absence, a member of the assembly elected by the assembly.

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A county assembly may make laws necessary for the effective performance of the county government.

The assembly will also exercise oversight over the executive committee and other county organs.

County executive committees in Kenya

The executive authority of the county will be exercised by the county executive committee comprising the governor, deputy governor and members appointed by the county governor, with the approval of the assembly.

The number of the executive committee assembly members should not exceed a third of the county assembly members if it has less than 30 members or 10 if the assembly has 30 or more members.

The county governor and the deputy county governor are the chief executive and deputy chief executive of the county.

When the governor is absent, the deputy governor acts as governor. A person cannot hold office of governor or deputy governor for more than two five-year terms.

Functions of county executive committees in Kenya

a)      Implement county and national legislation that applies to counties;

b)      Manage and coordinate county administration;

c)       Prepare legislation for consideration by the county assembly; and

d)      Prepare regular reports for the county assembly.

Removal of a county governor

A governor can be removed for violating the Constitution, committing a crime under national or international law, abuse of office, gross misconduct or physical and/or mental incapacity to perform the functions of the office.

 Vacancy In the office of county governor

It becomes vacant if the holder dies, resigns or writes a letter to the Speaker of the county assembly or ceases to be eligible to be elected governor. The office also becomes vacant if the governor is convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment for at least 12 months or is removed from office.

If a vacancy occurs, the deputy governor assumes office as governor for the remainder of the term. In such a case, the deputy governor is deemed to have served a full term as county governor if more than two and a half years remain before the next election.

If a vacancy occurs in the offices of the governor and deputy governor, the speaker of the county assembly acts as the governor. An election of governor is then held within 60 days.

County boundaries

They can be altered only by a resolution recommended by an independent commission established by Parliament and passed by two-thirds of the National Assembly and the same number of the Senate.

The boundaries can also be altered due to population density and demographic trends, physical and human infrastructure, historical and cultural ties, the cost of administration, the views of communities affected and geographical features.

Suspension of a county government

The President may suspend a county government due to internal conflict, war or other exceptional circumstances. The suspension cannot be for more than 90 days and when it is over, elections are held.

A county government cannot be suspended unless an independent commission of inquiry has investigated allegations against the county, the President is satisfied the allegations are justified and the Senate has authorised the suspension.

During suspension, arrangements must be made for the performance of the functions of a county government. The Senate may at any time terminate the suspension.