Council of Governors

Council of Governors

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 10:35

Joint Workshop for Symbiocity Kenya

“We are going to engage our youth in meaningful activities”
What can an integrated and participatory urban planning bring in practice? Nakuru and Kakamega County representatives share progress updates at a joint workshop for SymbioCity Kenya.

“It was clear from talking to stakeholders that the key challenge is water shortage,” says Naomi Murang’a, physical planner at Njoro sub-county, Nakuru.
To identify the needs versus the gaps, the Njoro working group undertook a feasibility study to determine priority areas of improvement.  
“Our vision is that at the end of the day the residents of Njoro are going to have adequate amounts of water that is safe for consumption,” explains Naomi, who is the new coordinator for the so called Pilot town of Njoro.

Her colleague at county level, Mr. Bernard Maruhi Maina, Director of Housing, describes the idea to increase water availability in an informal settlement in Njoro:
“The domino effect is that other areas of interest – infrastructure, housing – will be uplifted.”

Bernard highlights the SymbioCity Kenya (SCK) programme’s community engagement as welcome. “We know that the devolved system of government requires that everything that we do must involve community members,” says Bernard adding that basing the project at the lowest level of county has helped reach people whose views are paramount.

Naomi Muranga however flags the lack of continuity among stakeholders as a concern. “Having new members in different fora makes it challenging to bring them onboard on what is happening,” she says.

In Kakamega County’s Pilot town of Butere, consultations found that residents experience youth unemployment and unrest as a significant issue.
Millicent Cherotich, landscape architect for Kakamega county government, describes how their so called quick win project as part of SCK will help mitigate this through a recreational park. The park is envisioned to have sports and sanitation facilities, and engage youth in meaningful activity such as matches or business activities.

joint workshop symbiocityThis also fits well with the Urban Areas and Cities Act of 2011, which stipulates that for an urban area to be a town it must provide services such as recreational facilities, cemeteries, sewerage facilities among others.

“This park is going to be the simplest and serve the larger community in so many aspects, including in social well-being,” says Millicent, who is assistant Pilot coordinator for SCK in Kakamega. “We are going to engage our youth in meaningful activities. We will be able to tap talent and create business opportunities, maybe when there are tournaments we can hire staff, and the place can be used for political rallies and workshops.”

Millicent believes that the SymbioCity process will be an eye-opener to the people of the county at large:
“We intend to replicate the process to the other sub-counties and have other towns plan in a sustainable manner. That will encourage people and investors and spur economic activity within Kakamega.”

Her colleague in Nakuru expresses similar ambitions. Thanking CoG for the project, Bernard Maruhi Maina says on a final note:
“Once we reach a closure we know that we will have the capacity to replicate this. Nakuru has 11 sub-counties, 55 wards, and upcoming centres that are going to benefit. As County Government we have put in place structures in terms of human capacity, making sure we have qualified staff in every sub-county. We look forward to replicating the planning concept in other smaller towns.”

The joint workshop was held in Nakuru County on October 10-12, 2017, to help accelerate implementation of SCK. Altogether seven Kenyan towns are piloting this urban development initiative which is hosted by the CoG. The programme will shortly launch a new website at symbiocitykenya.org.

The Council of Governors (COG) took part in the Legal Awareness week to educate the public on devolved functions and its mandate.
Through its 18 technical Committees, the Council of Governors’ aim was to educate the public on what the public should expect from their respective County Governments and the extent to which County Governments can function on the devolved functions especially the shared functions.
Speaking to the Council of Governors staff at the COG stand, the Chief Guest, Chair of the National Legal Aid Service, Ms. Nalima Malik, could not hide her excitement on what the Council of Governors and the County Governments are doing at their level. “The Council of Governors and the County Governments in General are doing a great job,” she commented. Members of the public visited the stand in large numbers to get information on different devolved functions such as Health, Agriculture, Education, Natural Resource Management, and what they could fully hold their County Governments responsible for. The public so far is well pleased with what County Governments are doing to ensure the dream of devolution is a reality in Kenya. The president of the Law Society of Kenya, Isaac E.N Okere also expressed his appreciation of the work being done by the Council of Governors.
The Law Society of Kenya has organised and held the Legal Awareness week annually for decades in Kenya. This year the Legal awareness was held on the week of 25th to 29th September under the theme: “Safeguarding Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms through Improved Law Enforcement.” The event has always and was open to public who received legal advice from the different organisations, law firms and lawyers present. The legal advice was mostly on Land cases, Human Rights Violation, Family Law, and Employment among other legal issues. During the Legal Awareness Week, organizations involved in legal work are given the chance to showcase their services with a view to promoting a better understanding by the public of their role. Members of the Law Society of Kenya offer pro bono services to the public, while organisations educate the public on their mandate.

The Council of Governors held its initial meeting with the Joint Agriculture Secretariat (JAS) staff. This was the first meeting which also served as part of the induction for the new employees. The new staff are: Simon Mwombe – Agriculture value chain expert, John Wanyoike – Livestock value chain expert and Mrs. Elizabeth Mwangangi – JAS deputy Coordinator.

Chaired by the Secretary to the County Executive Committee Members for Agriculture Caucus Mrs. Agatha Thuo who is also the CEC in charge of Agriculture in Nyandarua County, the committee took each staff through their terms of reference, what is expected of them and above all the reporting structure. The staff were also taken through the Agriculture projects that are currently ongoing in the Counties.

“Agriculture is the first devolved function to steer good intergovernmental working relations” said Hon. Agatha Thuo.
The Joint Agriculture Secretariat (JAS) is charged with the responsibility of coordinating the implementation of the decisions made by Joint Agriculture Sector Consultation and Cooperation Mechanism (JASCCM). JASCCM was established by the second Agriculture Intergovernmental Forum (IGF) in Mombasa on 21st November 2016. The overall rationale for establishing the JASCCM was nested in the commitment of the national and county governments to jointly pursue effective development of the Agricultural sector.

The primary objective of JASCCM is to guide the implementation of sector proprieties as defined in the 2016 Agricultural Policy and on a broader scope the regional and international commitments entered in Kenya such as the CAADP Declarations (Maputo 2003, Malabo 2014).
More specifically, JASCCM purpose to ensure that agriculture contributes to equitable national economic growth and increased food security through effective implementation of the four pillars of the Agriculture policy.

Among the activities carried out by JAS are and not limited to; follow up with decisions of the Intergovernmental Forum, JASCCM and Joint Agriculture Sectoral Working Groups; to provide secretariat support to the Intergovernmental Forum, the Joint Agriculture Sector Steering Committee.
Within its overall mandate, JAS is further charged with the responsibility of facilitating awareness raising and capacity building among national and county stakeholders across the sector pertaining to application of genuine intergovernmental governance and partnership principles. This includes facilitating of day-to-day technical linkages between national and county agencies and actors.

The new staff are seconded by the Council of Governors to the Joint Agriculture Committee.

Given that Sports is a concurrent function for both National and County which is shared by both levels of government, Officials representing the Ministry of Education, Athletics Kenya and the Council of Governors (CoG) on Monday, 23rd August 2017 met to spearhead the development of a proposal to nurture talent in the areas of sports. More specifically, athletics, which includes field and track events, mountain running, marathon and cross country. This follows an invitation by the Head of State H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta to the Committee Chairperson H.E. Prof. Paul Chepkwony, Governor – Kericho County, for the Council of Governors, Athletics Kenya led by its President – Lt. Gen. (Rtd.) Jackson Tuwei and the Ministry of Education Cabinet Secretary – Dr. Fred Matiang’i, to spearhead the process of coming up with a blue print to develop sporting talent nationally. The proposed framework needs to take into consideration a phased talent development program with a focus on athletics in the interim period. The proposal needs to enhance strong linkage with learning institutions within the current educational curriculum reforms in Kenya. This is expected to take a cross sectional thinking to talent identification, nurturing and development that takes into consideration cognitive, affective and psychomotor if the children and youth.
In addition, already a number of other institutions have been identified to join the team, they include: the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU), Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), the National Treasury and Universities. It was agreed that the kind of support needed to nurture talent for athletics will include: acquiring/construction of facilities and infrastructure, equipment, technical assistance and linkages/partnership.
This program is expected to commence at the Ward level (Primary, Secondary and tertiary institutions), County, Regional up to National levels. The proposed clustering of the country will be based on the twelve regions of Athletics Kenya. Hence need to strengthen the linkages with schools and County Governments for nurturing of talent right from Ward to National level. In conclusion, the joint technical team has 7 days to produce an interim report which will be for review which is still within the 14 days to finalize on the report to be handed to the Head of State H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta. This is expected to go a long way in developing talents as a critical sector including sports tourism to support empowerment of the Kenyan children and youth.

Thursday, 14 September 2017 21:06

Governors hold first consultative meeting

The Council of Governors held its first consultative meeting to discuss nurses strike and transitional challenges arising from the General Elections on August 8, 2017.The meeting, which was held at Council of Governors Delta Corner office on August 31, 2017 was also attended by Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Dr. Cleopa Mailu, Public Service Commission Chairperson Prof. Margaret Kobia,Salaries and Remuneration Commission Chief Executive Ms Anne Gitau and Chairpersons of the County Public Service Boards;and representatives of the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. During the meeting the Governors noted that they have made various efforts to resolve the current stalemate on the nurses’ strike. Despite the efforts, the nurses have acted in bad faith by going on strike while the negotiations on their CBA were taking place. As a result, the Governors gave the nurses a notice of seven days to resume work or be sacked when the period expires. Thereafter, the Governors resolved  As a result, interested candidates will make applications to the specific Counties where they would like to work in. The meeting also resolved that health services will remain a County function despite the industrial actions. The meeting also addressed the lay-offs in the Counties. The meeting noted that there have been emerging human resource issues that the new Governors find themselves in.

For instance, where State Officers and/or public officers, whose term is defined in law received contracts that were beyond their defined term. To illustrate these, there are cases where County Secretaries were put on permanent and pensionable terms; where public officers who initially were recruited on contractual basis, but just before the elections, they were quickly placed on permanent and pensionable terms; where new Governors are face a bloated workforce. The meeting noted that the Governors were not acting in malice and agreed that due process of the law will be followed in discharging CECs and Chief officers.

The Council comprises of both new and re-elected governors held the meeting to address the Nurses strike, Transitional Challenges across the 47 County Governments and the Governors and Deputy Governors Induction meeting. Present in the meeting were the Excellency Governors, Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Dr. Cleopha Mailu; Public Service Commission Chairperson Prof Margaret Kobia; Salaries and Remuneration Commission Chief Executive Officer Ms. Anne Gitau; Chairpersons of the County Public Service Boards; and representatives of the Ministry of Devolution of Planning and representatives from the Council of Governors secretariat.
The first agenda being the nurses’ strike, the Council of Governors stated that they have been making various efforts to solve the current stalemate, which has resulted to the nurses being on strike for close to 3 months. H.E Josphat Nanok addressing the media stated that the striking nurses should resume duty by 8th September 2017 and that those who will not have returned to work by the above stipulated date will stand sacked. This is to ensure that health services can return to normal. The second agenda was on the Human Resource in the Counties. Despite the various lay offs that have been ongoing in the counties, the Council agreed that the due process of the law should be followed in discharging both the CECs and Chief officers. Last on the agenda was on the Induction meeting for the Governors and Deputy Governors. The Induction meeting for the new and re-elected Governors and Deputy Governors is to be held with the objective of providing basic information on County Government structures and processes and on the gains made so far in devolution; and enhance County officials’ understanding and appreciation of devolution as a system of governance that focuses on, among others, self-governance and participation of the people in decision making, social and economic development, protection of the rights of minorities and marginalized groups, accessibility of services, and public accountability. The new dates of the meeting shall be communicated once finalized. All the 47 Governors are ready to deliver on their promises to the ‘wananchi’ and ensure that devolution is achieved across the country.

In February 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding was negotiated and signed by the 17 health workers professional associations, National and 47 County Governments. This was in respect to the professional’s entry point, determination of salary on promotion, promotions within common cadre establishment, salaries, secondment, leadership and participation, allowances, employment of clinical officers and other health professionals, Re-designation, Internship, professional development, Medical benefits, Career progression and Group Personal Accident Insurance Cover among other items.

As a follow up to this, the Council of Governors hosted representatives from the Kenya Health Professionals, County Public Service Board and Ministry of Health to a consultative meeting to discuss pending issues in the memorandum and see how counties are doing on its implementation. The meeting agreed that a scheme of service is crucial for every health employee working both in the County or National Government thus every association or society will be required to have one. Both parties issue guidelines and circulars from time to time with regards to HR matters outlined in the memorandum. Both the County and the National Government, will have to incur costs in bringing all stakeholders on Board on the development of a scheme of service.
Moving forward, a technical committee comprising representatives from all the stakeholders present will be formed and immediately begin to look through the detailed content of the Memorandum. All parties agreed to work together to ensure that health care is improved in the counties and that the MoU is implemented across the country. The Health professionals in Kenya comprises of seventeen member associations and societies namely; Association of Kenya Medical Laboratory Scientific officers, Association of Medical Engineering of Kenya, Association of Public Health officers of Kenya, Association of Medical Records and Information Officers Kenya, Kenya Pharmaceutical Technologists Association, Kenya Occupational Therapists Association, Kenya Medical social Workers Association, Kenya Plaster Technicians Association, Kenya Association Of Health Administrators, Oral health association of Kenya, National Orthopedic Technologists Association of Kenya, Nutrition Association of Kenya, Kenya Society for Physiotherapists, Society of Radiography Kenya, Kenya Dental Technologists Association, Funeral Services Association of Kenya, Association of Kenya Health Telephone Personnel.

The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) CEO Dr. Betty Radier paid a courtesy call to the Council of Governors CEO Ms. Jacqueline Mogeni and the tourism department committee members. The Kenya Tourism Board’s sole mandate is to develop, implement and co-ordinate Kenya’s National Tourism marketing strategy through marketing Kenya at Local, National, Regional and international levels as a premier tourist destination. It also identifies tourism market needs and trends and advises tourism stakeholders accordingly.

Considering the fact that tourism is a devolved function, the Council of Governors has a tourism committee which handles all the matters relating to tourism and wildlife management tourism being a significant sector and a driver of Kenya’s economic development as adopted in vision 2030. The meeting discussed ways through which the Kenya Tourism Board and County Governments can work together to develop signature tourism packages to market counties in tourism, and to further market the Kenyan culture, heritage, sports and food just to mention a few. “Capacity building of the tourism sector and professionally packaging the tourism services available in the counties guarantees generation of revenue and foreign investment which reinforces development in the county” Dr. Betty Radier reiterated. KTB will work in partnership with counties through the regional economic blocks which include; North Rift Economic Block (NOREB), Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani, South Eastern Economic Bloc, Mt. Kenya and Aberdare Economic Bloc, Lake Regional Economic Bloc (LREB)and Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC). Ms. Mogeni, the CEO, Council of Governors stated that “Devolution has opened up Kenya and provided an opportunity for us to show the world that we have much more to offer other than the Safari tours and beautiful beach destinations. There is so much untapped tourism richness in Kenya and this is the time to unearth it all.” The Council of Governors is ready to work with Kenya Tourism Board to ensure that the tourism sector in counties is improved throughout the country.

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