Kakamega County Assembly is a County Legislative arm of the Kakamega County Government. The County Assembly is the House directly elected by the voters to perform roles of legislators at the county level.
The Kakamega County Assembly has 89 members. The number of seats that a party has in the Assembly is in proportion to the number of voters that voted for it in the 2017 general elections.
OFFICE BEARERS OF THE ASSEMBLY
At its first sitting after a general election, the County Assembly elects the Speaker, the figure head of the Assembly. The Speaker has many responsibilities, which include constitutional, statutory and procedural.
He or She has also administrative powers and functions in His or Her capacity as the Chairperson of the County Assembly Service Board (CASB).
(a) Direct and supervise the administration of the services and facilities provided by, and exercise budgetary control over the Service in the Assembly,
(b) Determine and review the terms and conditions of service of persons holding or acting in the office the Service,
(c) Initiate, co-ordinate and harmonize policies and strategies relating to the development of the Service,
(d) Initiate programmes –
- For training and capacity building of members and staff of the county assembly and other persons;
- That promote ideals of parliamentary democracy as set out in Article 127(6)(d) of the Constitution; and
- That promote public awareness and participation in the activities of the County Assembly; and
(e) do such other things as may be necessary for the well-being of the members and staff of the county assembly .
The Board Consists of:
- The Speaker of the County Assembly
- A vice-chairperson elected by the Board from its members
- Two members of the County Assembly nominated by the political parties represented in the Assembly according to their proportion of members in the county assembly;
- and one man and one woman appointed by the county assembly from amongst persons who are experienced in public affairs, but are not members of the county assembly
- The Clerk of the Assembly is the Secretary and Chief Officer of the Board.
The duties of the Speaker fall broadly into three categories, namely:-
- Presiding over sittings of the House, maintaining order and applying its rules;
- Acting as representatives and spokesperson for the Assembly
- Overall head of the Assembly
While the Governor heads the County Executive, the Speaker heads the County Assembly and He or She is required to act impartially and protect the rights of all parties.
In performing His or Her functions, the Speaker is assisted by his Deputy Speaker. He chairs key house committees such House Leadership Committee, House Business Committee, Appointments Committee and Powers, Rules and Privileges Committee.
To ensure the proper functioning of the House, the presiding officers are assisted by the whips.
Whips are party-political functionaries. A whip is a member selected by his or her party to assist in organizing party business, keeping members informed of party and parliamentary business, ensuring that members attend committee meetings and debates in the House, arranging for their members to speak in debates, and to perform many other duties.
The Chief Whip of the Majority party, by virtue of his or her party being the majority party, also has certain duties in relation to proceedings of the House.
Recognition is also given to the chief whip of the largest minority party. He or She is called the Chief Whip of the Opposition.
As the leader of the largest minority party (or largest party that is not in government), the Leader of the Opposition enjoys a special status in the Assembly. The post is specified in the Constitution and County Governments Acts, 2012.
For the County Assembly, the Leader of Majority facilitates liaison between Assembly and the Executive on political matters and forwards to the House County Executive matters in the plenary.
HOW THE ASSEMBLY WORKS
Some of the tasks of the Assembly, particularly those involving detailed consideration of matters, are more appropriately performed by a smaller group than the Assembly sitting in plenary, i.e. as the full House.
Much of the Assembly’s work is therefore done in committees, but the final decisions on all matters are taken by the House. The House always has the final authority.
In accordance with the powers given to its Standing Orders, the Assembly establishes a range of committees with assigned powers and functions.
The Committees are required to report regularly on their activities and to make recommendations to the House for debate and decision.
A large part of the Assembly’s role in the law-making process happens in committees and much of its oversight over the executive is also done through committees, particularly the portfolio (sectoral) committees.
There is a sectoral committee for each corresponding County Executive departments headed by County Executive Committee members (CECs).
The composition of Committees reflects, as far as is practicable, the numerical strength parties represented in the Assembly. That committee will deliberate on bills covering that department’s area of jurisdiction and scrutinize and report on its annual budget and strategic plan.
As the Peoples’ Representatives, members of the committee determine whether County Executive Departments are delivering on what they promised and whether they are spending the public money they receive in a responsible manner.
As part of their oversight work, committees may also do site visits where they find out directly from the people at ground level whether the government is delivering on its promises.
If a committee reports on a matter and makes certain recommendations, that report will be debated in a full sitting or plenary to give other members of the house an opportunity to engage with the content of the report.
Once the report has been debated, the House decides whether to adopt the committee’s recommendations. The House may also decide only to note the report or it may refer the report back to the committee with an instruction to do further work.
In addition to dealing with government business, usually bills initiated by the executive, individual members (sometimes called “private members”) have several ways of bringing matters to the attention of the House. A member may give notice that He or She intends moving a motion in the House.
A motion is a way of asking the House to take a decision on or to debate a particular matter. The rules also make provision for members’ statements on certain days. Statements can either be from Individual member or from the Executive.
Furthermore, if there is a burning issue of grave importance that a member wants the House to discuss as soon as possible, He or She may request the Speaker to agree to accommodate a debate on a matter of public importance.
PRIVATE MEMBERS’ LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS
Members may also submit legislative proposals for consideration by the House. The Member submits the proposal for new legislation or amending legislation to the Speaker.
It is then tabled and referred to the Committee on Members’ Legislative Proposals and Special Petitions. That committee will look at the proposal and advise the House on whether it is a good idea to proceed with such legislation.
If the House agrees, the member submits a draft bill and it is referred to the relevant portfolio committee for processing.
Another important mechanism the Assembly has is to hold the executive to account is questions to the Governor and County Executive Committee (CEC) Members.
Members submit questions for oral or written reply to the office of the Clerk or through plenary depending on the nature of the matter in question. The Leader of Majority, who is also Leader of Government Business in the House, then forwards the question(s) to a respective County ministry or department for a response. He or She then presents the response in the House.
Question time in the Assembly is usually on Thursdays before 3pm, during which time the Leader of Majority responds to the question after receiving appropriate written answers (responses) from the County Executive.
The member who originally asked the question and members of other parties then get a chance to ask follow-up questions and probe the matter further.
The answers to questions for oral and written reply are published in Hansard, the official record of the debates in Assembly.
The County Assembly ha many other tasks and roles in addition to those mentioned above, including the vetting and approving the appointment of certain top county office bears such as Executive Committee Members, Chief Officers and other high ranking portfolio executive offices.
PROPORTION OF THE PARTIES IN THE COUNTY ASSEMBLY
NO OF SEATS IN PERCENTAGE
|Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)
|NATIONAL SUPER ALLIANCE (NASA)
|Amani National Congress (ANC)
|Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM)
|United Democratic Party (UDP)
Summary of House Membership on Elected Members, Gender and Marginalized groups
- The Kakamega County Assembly has a total number of 89 Members of County Assembly (MCAs). Therefore a full House has 91 members including the Speaker and the Clerk.
- 60 members were elected in 60 wards of the County. Of this number, only 4 females were elected.
- The Assembly has a total of 29 nominated members from different political parties and groups.
- The Assembly has 27 nominated Females MCAs representing constitutional requirement of gender balance.
- ODM party part has nominated 16 members including one female member representing People living With Disabilities (PWDs) and one male member representing the Ethnic Minority
- ANC Party has nominated 10 members including one female to represent the Youth and one male member to represent People living With Disabilities (PWDs).
- Jubilee has nominated one female member (gender balance).
- Ford Kenya has nominated one female member (gender balance).
- UDP has nominated one female member (gender balance).