The Assumption of Office of the County Governor Bill, 2018 is a brainchild of Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi. The Bill provides the procedure and ceremony for the assumption of the office of the Governor by a Governor-elect.
The memorandum of the bill says there is presently no legal framework governing the assumption of the office of the Governor.
The framework is important as it would ensure a successful and smooth transition into the office of Governor by a Governor-elect.
The defunct Transition Authority supervised the assumption into office by the current governors.
Key Provisions of The Assumption of Office of the County Governor Bill 2018
Establishment of Assumption of the Office of Governor Committee
This shall be an ad hoc (special) committee. It shall consist of—
- the County Secretary who shall be the chairperson;
- the County Attorney;
- 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;
- Chief Officer in the department responsible for matters relating to public works, roads and transport;
- the County Commissioner;
- the head of the National Police Service appointed to the County Policing Authority by the Inspector-General under section 41 (1)(c) of the National Police Service Act;
- County Policing Authority Representative in the county;
- the head of the National Intelligence Service in the county;
- the Clerk of the county assembly;
- two persons 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.
Functions of the Assumption of the Office of Governor Committee
The functions of the committee shall be to—
- facilitate the handing over the process by the outgoing Governor to the Governor-elect;
- ensure the provision of security services of the Governor-elect;
- put in place the necessary facilities and deploy the necessary personnel to be at the service of the Governor-elect upon the assumption of office;
- co-ordinate the briefings of the Governor-elect by relevant county public officers;
- facilitate communication between the outgoing Governor and the Governor-elect;
- prepare the programme and organise for the swearing-in ceremony;
- carry out any other activity necessary for the performance of its functions under this 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 Office of the County Governor Bill 2018 stipulates that the 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 assist the Governor-elect to make the necessary preparations for purposes of assuming office.
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.
Other provisions in this section include what should occur if the governor-elect or the deputy governor is unable to assume office, for example, if they die.
Swearing-in Ceremony for the Governor-elect
The swearing-in of the Governor-elect shall occur in a public ceremony before the resident High Court Judge. In the absence of the resident High Court Judge, the resident Chief Magistrate may officiate the ceremony.
The Governor-elect shall be sworn-in on the first Tuesday following the twenty-first day after the declaration of the result of the election of the county governor. That is, the first Tuesday after 21 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 Schedule section of this Act. 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 resident High Court Judge. Alternatively, in the absence of the resident High Court Judge, in the presence of the resident Chief Magistrate.
Download the Bill using the link at the end of the article for further provisions on what happens next.
Amendments to the County Governments Act
The Assumption of Office of the County Governor Bill 2018 repeals 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. The Schedule of The Assumption of Office of the County Governor Bill 2018 provides for the oath of the Deputy Governor.
For detailed provisions of The Assumption of Office of the County Governor Bill 2018, including miscellaneous provisions, see the bill here.