Who is a public officer and a state officer in Kenya? This article intends to provide an answer. The Constitution of Kenya makes several mentions of the terms “public officer” and “state officer”. These two terms refer to different people who hold offices in government.
Under Article 260 of the Kenyan Constitution, “State”, when used as a noun, means the collectivity of offices, organs and other entities comprising the government of the Republic under the Constitution.
Who is a public officer in Kenya? According to the Public Officers Ethics Act, a “public officer” in Kenya means any officer, employee or member, including an unpaid, part-time or temporary officer, employee or member, of any of the following-
- the (national) Government or any department, service or undertaking of the Government;
- the National Assembly or the Parliamentary Service;
- a local authority (such as a county government);
- any corporation, council, board, committee or other body which has the power to act under and for the purposes of any written law relating to local government, public health or undertakings of public utility or otherwise to administer funds belonging to or granted by the Government or money raised by rates, taxes or charges in pursuance of any such law;
- a co-operative society established under the Co-operative Societies Act; (Provided that the Public Officers Ethics Act should apply to an officer of a co-operative society within the meaning of the Act.)
- a public university;
- any other body prescribed by regulation for the purposes of this paragraph;
Examples of public officers in Kenya include public school teachers, public university lecturers and doctors and nurses in public hospitals.
Additionally, who is a state officer in Kenya? Article 260 of the Kenyan Constitution stipulates that “State office” means any of the following offices–
- Deputy President;
- Cabinet Secretary;
- Member of Parliament (Member of the National Assembly, Member of the Senate, Woman County Representative);
- Judges and Magistrates;
- member of a commission to which Chapter Fifteen (of the Constitution) applies;
- holder of an independent office to which Chapter Fifteen applies;
- member of a county assembly, governor or deputy governor of a county, or other members of the executive committee of a county government;
- Director of Public Prosecutions;
- Secretary to the Cabinet;
- Principal Secretary;
- Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces;
- commander of a service of the Kenya Defence Forces;
- Director-General of the National Intelligence Service;
- Inspector-General, and the Deputy Inspectors-General, of the National Police Service; or
- an office established and designated as a State office by national legislation;
“State officer” means a person holding a State office. Therefore, a state officer in Kenya is a public officer, but not all public officers are state officers. Every person who holds a public office in Kenya is a public officer.