There are six elective positions that the electorate will be required to elect leaders come March 4th. This is a new phenomena introduced by the new Constitution. This article will highlight them, describing their functions and roles. They include;
The authority of the President is vested in the Constitution under Article 131. The president is the head of state and government. He is the commander in chief of the armed forces in Kenya and a national symbol of unity. The president exercises the executive authority of the Republic, with the assistance of the Deputy President and Cabinet Secretaries.
As we elect the President of this country, he or she should be a person who will;
- respect, uphold and safeguard the Constitution;
- safeguard the sovereignty of the Republic;
- promote and enhance the unity of the nation;
- promote respect for the diversity of the people and communities of Kenya; and
- ensure the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.
The president sits at the cabinet, which is the executive arm of government. The cabinet comprises of the president, the deputy president and cabinet secretaries.
The Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament represents a constituency. There are 290 constituencies; hence, there will be 290 members of parliament who will sit at the National Assembly.
Article 95 of the Constitution provides for the role of the National Assembly.
The National Assembly represents the people of the constituencies and special interests in the National Assembly. It deliberates on and resolves issues of concern to the people. The National Assembly also;
- determines the allocation of national revenue between the levels of government,
- appropriates funds for expenditure by the national government and other national State organs; and
- exercises oversight over national revenue and its expenditure.
It is also the mandate of National Assembly to;
- review the conduct in office of the President, the Deputy President and other State officers and initiates the process of removing them from office; and
- exercises oversight of State organs.
A member of parliament should therefore be a person who has the interests of Kenya at heart. They should be people with good leadership, transparency and integrity. Parliament manifests the diversity of the nation and represents the will of the people. It deliberates on and resolves issues of concern to the people.
A woman representative
There are forty-seven counties. Each county will elect a woman representative who will also sit at the National Assembly. These women should have the interests of Kenyans at heart as the will be making laws concerning the people. They should be accountable and have good governance skills. They should be women of integrity.
Article 93(1) of the constitution establishes a Parliament of Kenya, which shall consist of the National Assembly and the Senate. The senator sits at the Senate, which is at the National Government.
Article 96 (1) provides for the role of the senate.
- The Senate represents the counties, and serves to protect the interests of the counties and their governments.
- The Senate participates in the law-making function of Parliament by considering, debating and approving Bills concerning counties.
- The Senate determines the allocation of national revenue among counties, and exercises oversight over national revenue allocated to the county governments.
- The Senate participates in the oversight of State officers by considering and determining any resolution to remove the President or Deputy President from office.
- Article 98 (1) provides for the membership of the Senate. It consists of;
- forty-seven members each elected by the registered voters of the counties, each county constituting a single member constituency;
- sixteen women members who shall be nominated by political parties according to their proportion of members of the Senate elected;
- two members, being one man and one woman, representing the youth;
- two members, being one man and one woman, representing persons with disabilities; and
- the Speaker, who shall be an ex officio member.
Under the Devolved Government, there shall be a county government for each county, consisting of a county assembly and a county executive. Every county government shall decentralize its functions and the provision of its services to the extent that it is efficient and practicable to do so.
The governor is the head of the county. The executive authority of the county is vested in, and exercised by, a county executive committee. The county executive committee consists of;
- the county governor and the deputy county governor; and
- members appointed by the county governor, with the approval of the assembly, from among persons who are not members of the assembly.
Functions of the county executive committees are provided for under Article 183 of the constitution. The committee shall;
- implement county legislation;
- implement, within the county, national legislation to the extent that the legislation so requires;
- manage and coordinate the functions of the county administration and its departments; and
- perform any other functions conferred on it by this Constitution or national legislation.
A county executive committee may prepare proposed legislation for consideration by the county assembly. The county executive committee shall also provide the county assembly with full and regular reports on matters relating to the county.
A governor should therefore be a leader who can manage the affairs of a county. He/she should be a person of integrity and have the interest of the people at heart.
A county assembly shall consist of members elected by the registered voters of the wards, each ward constituting a single member constituency, which are known as ward representatives.
The legislative authority of a county is vested in, and exercised by, its county assembly. A county assembly may make any laws that are necessary for, or incidental to, the effective performance of the functions and exercise of the powers of the county government. A county assembly, while respecting the principle of the separation of powers, may exercise oversight over the county executive committee and any other county executive organs.
A county assembly may also receive and approve plans and policies for;
- the management and exploitation of the county's resources; and
- the development and management of its infrastructure and institutions.
These should be individuals who will be able to make good laws that will affect the people positively.
As the people of Kenya therefore, come March 4th, Let us vote in leaders who have National values and Principles of governance. They should be individuals who have good governance, integrity, transparency, accountability and sustainable development.