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Explainer: Detailed functions of a Deputy Governor

It’s barely two months since County Governors took the oath of office alongside their deputies but already wrangles over leadership have been reported.

The first these disputes was reported in Kakamega County where Deputy Governor Ayub Savula claimed that he is a “co-governor” even before he was sworn-in. Mr Savula had alleged that he was not a deputy to Governor Fernandes Barasa.

According to Mr Savula, he had a written agreement with Governor Barasa that was deposited at the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, detailing how they would share government equally. Mr Savula claimed the agreement was reached following negotiations that saw him stepping down from the governorship race.

In Kericho County, another leadership row between Governor Erick Mutai and his deputy Fred Kirui has been reported.

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In one of the public functions, Mr Kirui said that he had a disagreement with his boss over the management of the county affairs, and that he was not involved in filling the county cabinet.

The deputy governor also said they had a pre-election agreement that detailed how the government positions will be shared to 60-40 per cent share.

Which begs the question, do Deputy Governors understand their roles as stipulated in law?

According to the County Governments Act No. 17 of 2012, the deputy governor’s role is simply to deputize the governor in the execution of the governor’s functions.

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The Act provides for county governments’ powers, functions and responsibilities to deliver services and for connected purposes.

The Governor may assign the Deputy Governor any other responsibility or portfolio as a member of the county executive committee.

When the County Governor is absent, the deputy shall act as the governor but shall not exercise any powers of the governor, to nominate, appoint or dismiss, that are assigned to the governor under the Constitution or other written law.

However, the Act prohibits governors  from delegating to the deputy governor his functions of nominating, appointing or dismissing.

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