Revealed: Senate Speaker Amason Kingi To Revive County Assemblies Forum Amendment Bill

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By Tobby Otum

Senate Speaker Amason Kingi said he is in the process of reviving the proposed Amendment Bill for the County Assemblies Forum (CAF) which had hit a dead end.

He added that he is reliably informed that the proposed Bill had in the past been discussed by the Senate Committee on Devolution and Intergovernmental
Relations.

“Nonetheless, the process inexplicably and regrettably hit a dead end,” he pointed out.

Kingi said he is aware that since the Second Senate, the proposed CAF Bill which was to become Law has been in limbo.

He made the remarks during the opening of a three day county assembly speakers’ induction workshop held at Prideinn Hotel in Mombasa county.

The Senate Speaker told the forum that the Draft Bill had proposed the establishment of an entity for the forty-seven county assemblies which was to consist of the Speakers and Members of  the County Assembly and was to be named the National Council for County Legislatures.

Kingi assured the participants he will consult with a team of experts and the relevant committees.

He added that this is with a view to prompting further conversation in the 4th Senate on this pertinent matter to get a clear way forward.

“Similarly, County Assemblies have repeatedly raised concern that the Senate previously sanctioned counties to pay subscriptions to the CAF,” he pointed out.

The Senate Speaker said the significant role it plays is in coordinating affairs of counties, supporting their capacity development and fostering inter-governmental relations.

Kingi pointed out that with the benefit of hindsight and drawing from his ten years experience as Governor of Kilifi County, he can attest that harmony and good working
relations between the County Assembly and County Executive is the best
recipe for effective service delivery in counties and the success of Devolution

He said the County Assembly Committees have to feel obligated to reach out to County Executives to diffuse potential conflicts that may arise as the Executive implements its development agenda.

County Executives too are duty-bound at all times to engage House leadership whenever need arises,” he added.

“A similar relationship must be encouraged between the County Assembly Speaker andthe Governor because ultimately, the buck stops with these two leaders,” he disclosed.

Newly elected Council of Governors chairperson Anne Waiguru pointed out the role of the county assemblies as envisioned in the constitution rests on the legislative authority of the county assembly.

She disclosed in her remarks, which were contained in her speech read out by the council of governors whip Stephen Sang, that the promulgated 2010 constitution envisages that the institution will conduct its affairs in a consultative, cooperative and coordinated manner.

“The constitution states that sovereign power of the people is exercised at the national level and at the county level,” she added.

In his welcome remarks, re-elected Mombasa county Assembly Speaker Aharub Ebrahim Khatri said the port city remains a holiday destination to both domestic and international tourists.

He added they are always delighted to welcome visitors at any given time and appreciated the organizers of the forum for choosing the county for holding the three day workshop.

“We need to understand our roles and responsibility at the county assembly during the transaction of the day’s business and functions of the committees,” he pointed out.   

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