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CS Wamalwa accused of illegally extending intergovernmental committee term.

A fresh row is simmering between the national government and counties after Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa irregularly extended the term of Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee members.

In a letter dated Monday, February 12, the CS gave the Karega Mutahi led team 30 days more to their tenure contrary to the law.

Section 11 (3) of the constitution of the Intergovernmental Relation Act gives the summit and the national government absolute power to appoint members of the crucial panel.

'The Technical Committee shall be appointed on such terms and conditions as the Summit may determine,' the section states.

The summit is composed of the 48 heads of governments - 47 county governors and the Head of state President Uhuru Kenyatta.

It automatically locks out the CS Wamalwa.

'By virtue of Section 11 (3) of the Intergovernmental Relations Act the power to determine the terms and conditions of appointment of the members of the committee resides absolutely with the National and county government," Wamalwa said in the letter copied to Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua.

In the letter, the CS also notes Article 11 (3) of the constitution does not give him powers to appoint.

A number of county chiefs who talked to the Star said the extension was unconstitutional but they will respond to it as a team after consultations.

"The constitution has outlined how every activity under devolution should be handled and we will use our usual platforms to communicate back," a Mount Kenya governor told the Star.

The IGTRC ten member committee is chaired by Karega Mutahi.

Other officials are Allyce Kureiya, Judith Miguda, Elizabeth Muchane, Shayisa Khasiani, Billow Khalid, Nyeris Raymond, Francis Fondo, Angelina Hongo and Mwanamaka Mabruk.

'Reference is made to your letter dated September 6, 2017, in which you request consideration of your contracts as members of the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee which expires on 19 February 2018. I hereby extend the contractual period of each of your contracts by additional 30 days ending on March 19, 2018,' Wamalwa said in the letter.

Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri had not formally handed over the devolution ministry to him when he sanctioned the committee to extend its term. Kiunjuri is the former Devolution CS after Uhuru named a new cabinet.

'Please take note that your terms and conditions of service remain the same as in the original letter of appointment during this period,' Wamalwa said.

IGTRC was formed to establish a framework for consultation and co-operation between the National and County Governments. Under the Intergovernmental Relations Act, it was further mandated to take over the residual functions of the Transition Authority.

'The Technical committee will convene a meeting of the forty-seven County Secretaries within thirty days preceding every Summit meeting and perform function conferred on it by the Summit, the Council, the Interrelations Act or any other legislation,' adds the Intergovernmental Relations Act.

The Transition Authority (TA) was charged with the mandate of ensuring the seamless transition from the old order to the new era constitution. It was dissolved after playing a key role in seeing the implementation of the devolved functions.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Feb 21, 2018
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