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County Assemblies Forum and Senate Discuss Oversight and Accountability.

During the month of May, CAF got an opportunity to present its memorandum on the controversial County Oversight and Accountability bill, 2024 before the Senate Standing Committee on Devolution and Inter-Governmental Relations. The principle objective of the bill is to establish a framework for the effective oversight of the County Governments by the Senate. The bill has generated significant controversy due to its implication to the roles and powers of County Assemblies as it over laps the existing oversight role of County Assemblies creating potential conflict and confusion on jurisdiction.

This was the Senate’s third attempt to pass such legislation, following the County Oversight and Accountability Bill, 2018, and the County Oversight and Accountability Bill, 2021. Both previous bills faced significant opposition and legal challenges. The High Court’s decision in Petition 381 of 2014 (consolidated with Petition 430 of 2014) emphasized the importance of respecting the constitutional provisions regarding the exercise of power by state organs, including the principles of transparency, accountability, and public participation. These precedents highlight the need for careful consideration of the Bill’s constitutionality and its alignment with judicial rulings.

In their submissions, CAF highlighted contradictions between Articles 96(1) and 185(3) of the Constitution, stressing the importance of maintaining the principal oversight role of County Assemblies. The Senate acknowledged the need for amendments to harmonize roles and address implementation

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