Newly appointed Vihiga County Commissioner reports to office amidst opposition to the appointments
Written by Cotron Alumasa and Isura christopher
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Vihiga County Commissioner Kiprono William being recieved by the Vihiga DC Mutisya Muli when he took over office Thursday morning. Photo I Cotron Alumasa.
Despite the appointment of 47 county commissioners by President Mwai Kibaki being faulted from a section of the political leaders, the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) and also the matter being debated in parliament Thursday with calls for the appointments to be done afresh within the spirit of the law, the newly appointed County Commissioner who was the former District Commissioner Sabatia William Kiprono reported to his new office at the Vihiga district headquarters.
Speaking to West Fm in his office, the County Commissioner stated that his chief responsibility was that of performing roles of the national government at the county level by providing efficient services to the residents of Vihiga County.
He indicated that he was going to work closely with the other provincial officers and local leaders so as to ensure Vihiga is well prepared for the devolution system.
Kiprono thanked the president for appointing him and added that working as the County's Commissioner won't be very difficult because he once had a privilege of working in the county as a District Commissioner.
Elsewhere, Young Lawyers Association defended president Kibaki’s move in appointing county commissioners terming it to be timely.
“The appointment of these commissioners is imperative as we move towards the general elections. This is informed on the need for administrators to work with diligence and to advise the national government on how best to manage the security situation so as to avoid the repeat of 2007/ 2008 post election violence.”
Speaking to the press deputy chairperson Iddi Pembere said that they are demanding for the appointment of the county commissioners to be effected as planned and should not be politicized for it is for the common good of wananchi at the grassroots level.
“The ruling elite who have political, selfish and sectarian interests should not be allowed to make political capital at the expense of ordinary person.”
“We equivocally support the appointment of county commissioners since this is in line with section 17 of the sixth schedule of the constitution; which prescribes the manner in which provincial administration is supposed to be restructured in line with the new constitutional dispensation,” Mr. Pembere added.
The association has further dismissed prime minister’s claims that he was not consulted saying that the president has been appointing district commissioners without consulting the premier. The association has also said that the 2/3 gender requirement is not possible to be implemented since the president appointed the commissioners from already existing structures of the government which is gender biased.
“It will be misleading, falsehoods and ignorance to stay so since the roles of county commissioners is to represent the national government at the country level; and work in harmony with elected governors in counties.”
Wednesday, two civil society lobbyists filed a suit challenging the appointment of County Commissioners seeking an order to nullify the appointments and a stay of implementation of the President’s decision.
They want an order prohibiting the President and Internal Security minister George Saitoti from swearing-in the 47 commissioners into office.
The lobby group further wants the Attorney General and Internal Security minister Prof Saitoti compelled to comply with the Constitution by advertising and subjecting the positions of County Commissioners to competitive recruitment taking into consideration gender parity, regional balance and public participation.