TA requests for extension of term

The Transition Authority (TA) has cited failure to enact devolution laws, corruption, political interference and insecurity as some of the reasons that has made its work difficult.

The TA was established under Section Four of the Transition to Devolved Government Act (TDGA), 2012 to facilitate and co-ordinate the transition to devolved system of government pursuant to section 15 of the sixth schedule of the constitution of Kenya (COK) 2010.

The Authority was required to oversee the implementation of devolution over a period of three years from the date of the first General Election under the COK 2010.

And in an interview with KNA Friday, TA chairperson Kinuthia Wa Mwangi said the Authority was at the risk of failing to meet its objective if its term is not extended.

“We have requested that our term be extended by three years but the government is only willing to support a one year extension of the same,” said the chairperson.

“We have been able to accomplish a lot despite the many challenges that have dragged us behind,” he said.

“Political interference, corruption, insecurity, failure to implement devolution laws and lack of budgetary allocation for civic education are some of the things that have made our work difficult,” said Wa Mwangi.

In addition, the TA boss said that failure to extend the term of the Authority would be detrimental to the country, arguing that key undertakings were yet to be finalized.

“The exit of TA when too much work is pending will not be prudent and cost effective to the country,” said Wa Mwangi.

“Like for example the transfer of assets and liabilities, which is a key component of devolution is still outstanding and that is why we feel that we need more time to finish what we started,” explained the Chairperson.

For now though it remains to be seen whether the call to extend the Authority’s term even if for just an year as suggested by the government will succeed, with Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kinjuri saying that all key stakeholders need to come on board for any form of extension to be agreed upon.

“The mandate for such extensions lies with Constitutional Institutions which include the Senate and the national assembly,” said Kiunjuri.

He added ; “It is the sole mandate of the two institutions in their powers to either grant or deny the extension.”

“However we are going to reach out to all key stakeholders involved in the matter to discuss the proposed extension with the hope that they will support it,” said the Cabinet Secretary, in a press briefing held at his office Thursday.

According to the CS the stakeholders include the Council of governors, Constitutional Commissions, the office of the Attorney General, the Treasury and the Law Reform Commission among others.

The call by TA comes even as the Governors have strongly opposed any move to extend the Authority’s term, accusing it of most of the problems facing the Counties.

And with the Authority’s term set to end in less than two months, it remains to be seen whether the governors, who have been very critical of the entity, will support any form of extension.

By Barry Otieno