The Assumption of the Office of Governor Act 2019 provides the procedure and ceremony for the assumption of the office of the Governor by a Governor-elect.
With necessary modifications, it will also apply to the assumption of the Office of the Governor by a Deputy Governor or the Speaker of the County Assembly under Article 182(2) and (4) of the Constitution.
The framework is important as it will ensure a successful and smooth transition into the office of Governor by a Governor-elect.
Key Provisions of The Assumption of the Office of Governor Act 2019
Establishment of the Assumption of the Office of County Governor Committee
The Assumption Of The Office Of County Governor Committee shall be an ad hoc (special) committee. It shall consist of—
- the County Secretary who shall be the chairperson;
- the officer in charge of legal matters in the county;
- the Chief Officer in the department responsible for matters relating to the county public service;
- Chief Officer in the department responsible for matters relating to information and communication;
- the Chief Officer in the department responsible for matters relating to finance;
- the chief officer in the department responsible for matters relating to culture and social services;
- a representative of the Ministry responsible for matters related to devolution;
- the County Commissioner;
- a representative of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) at the county level;
- a representative of the National Police Service (NPS) at the county level;
- the Clerk of the county assembly;
- a representative of the Judiciary at the county level; and
- two persons, one man and one woman, nominated by the Governor-elect.
The Chief Officer in the department responsible for matters relating to the county public service shall be the secretary to the Committee.
The members representing NIS and NPS at the county level should be the members serving as members of the County Policing Authority established under the National Police Service Act.
The representative of the Judiciary should be nominated upon the declaration of the final results of the election of the Governor.
The term of office of this Committee should lapse upon the submission of the report of the Committee to the county assembly.
The funding for the assumption of office of a governor committee shall be borne by the respective county government.
Functions of the Assumption Of The Office Of County Governor Committee
The functions of the Assumption Of The Office Of County Governor Committee should be to—
- facilitate the handing over the process by the outgoing Governor to the Governor-elect;
- ensure and coordinate the provision of security services to the Governor-elect;
- put in place the necessary facilities and deploy the necessary personnel for the Governor-elect upon assumption of office;
- co-ordinate the briefings of the Governor-elect by the relevant county public officers including submission of the following information — (i) an up to date assets register; (ii) an up to date register of liabilities; (iii) a complete list of all bank accounts and reconciled balances; (iv) a report of staff establishment per department; (v) a comprehensive report on county entities or corporations and agencies containing information outlined in (i) to (iv); (vi) a report of all ongoing projects including donor-funded projects; (vii) an up to date report on all pending legal cases; and (viii) county source of funding.
- facilitate communication between the outgoing Governor and the Governor-elect;
- prepare the programme and organise for the swearing-in ceremony;
- prepare the oath and the certificate of inauguration; and
- carry out any other activity necessary for the performance of its functions under the Assumption of the Office of Governor Act and perform any other function assigned to it under any other written law.
Arrangements for Assumption of Office by the Governor-Elect
The Assumption of the Office of Governor Act 2019 stipulates that the Assumption Of The Office Of County Governor Committee shall ensure the Governor-elect and Deputy Governor-elect are accorded adequate security. This is after IEBC declares the final results for the election for the office of the governor.
The Committee shall, in consultation with the Governor-elect, carry out the necessary preparations for the purpose of the assumption of office by the Governor-elect.
In carrying out the above preparations, the Governor-elect may request, in writing, for any information they deem necessary from a county public officer. The county public officer should provide the information within a reasonable time.
A county public officer who fails to comply with this request commits an offence. They are liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding 300,000 shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both.
Swearing-in Ceremony for the Governor-elect
The Committee should publish, by notice in the Kenya Gazette and the County Gazette, the date, time and place for the conduct of the swearing-in ceremony
The swearing-in of the Governor-elect shall occur in a public ceremony before a High Court Judge.
The County Governor-elect should be sworn-in on the first Thursday after the tenth day following the declaration of the final results of the election of the County Governor by IEBC. That is, the first Thursday after 10 days since the IEBC declared the governor as having won the elections.
The Governor-elect shall, during the swearing-in ceremony, take and subscribe to the oath or affirmation of office as prescribed in the First Schedule section of the Assumption of the Office of Governor Act 2019. The oath or affirmation shall take place not earlier than 10.00 am and not later than 2.00 pm.
Upon taking or subscribing to the oath or affirmation, the Governor shall sign a certificate of the inauguration in the presence of the High Court Judge who conducts the swearing-in ceremony.
See the Assumption of the Office of Governor Act 2019 using the link at the end of this article for further provisions on what happens next.
Amendments to the County Governments Act
The Assumption of the Office of Governor Act 2019 repeals (deletes) the following provisions of the County Governments Act —
- section 30 (1);
- section 32 (1); and
- the oath of office for the governor/ deputy governor as contained in the First Schedule.
Section 30 (1) deals with the powers of the County Governor and Section 32 (1) on the oath of the deputy governor.
For detailed provisions of The Assumption of the Office of Governor Act 2019, including miscellaneous provisions, see the Act here.