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Daily Nation : February 28th 2014
DAILY NATION Friday February 28, 2014 Advertising Feature VII LAIKIPIA COUNTY ASSEMBLY Launch of Stratеgic Plan, Annual Rеport, Compilеd Hansard Rеport, Committее Managеmеnt Manual, Standing Ordеrs & official wеbsitе Patrick Kariuki Mariru Speaker Hon. Peter Kimondo Ngari, Deputy Speaker Hon. Ephraim Mwangi Wachira, Majority Leader Hon. Paul Lebeneiyo Baruch, Minority Leader Hon. Dann Ndegwa Macharia Hon. Elizabeth Paraiton Hon. Charumbo K. Kaparo Hon. Francis Mukuria Githinji Hon. Jacob Ekoeli Endom Hon. Jane Meshami Hon. Jennifer Koinante Kitarpei Hon. John Ndiritu Gitonga Hon. Joseph Kabaci Murua Hon. Joseph Kipruto Suge Hon. Michael Kinyua Gichangi Hon. Paul Kirenyi Leshuel Hon. Daisy Mariam Kirigo Maitho Hon. Catherine Wanjiku Waruguru Hon. Peter Thomi Waigwa Hon. Rose Nyambura Maitai Hon. Rose Wangu Karuri Hon. Stephen Mwangi Maruga Hon. Wilson Wakahiu Waithaka Hon. Beth Waithira Muchiri People’s participation in development process underscored BY MUCHIRI GITONGA firstname.lastname@example.org S ince its inauguration in March 2013 Laikipia county assembly knew the path that it wanted to travel in bringing the legislative services down to the grassroots. From the outset, the assembly under the stewardship of Speaker Patrick Mariru has perfectly established itself as a Laikipia people’s assembly. Within the first year it has made great strides in ensuring the legislative arm if fully operational. In the course of the year, the members and staff of county assembly have toured more than half of the wards in the county mainly to engage with residents and to familiarize themselves with the challenges that people face as they undergo their daily activities. “These tours will help the members in understanding the problems that the county residents go through. This would help in coming up with laws that would help the common man to overcome such challenges,” Mr Mariru explained. Wards toured include Mukogodo East, Mukogodo West, Segera, Nanyuki and Umande and Tigithi. The rest will follow in due course. According to Mr Mariru the tours have been instrumental in making the voters understand the role of the county assembly under a devolved system of governance and how it could change their lives. The county assembly has also been organizing sessions with special interest groups. In the first week of January members of the county assembly had dinner for the media mainly to build a rapport and to understand each other’s work. In February the assembly also met with business community from Nanyuki for a civic education. “The County Assembly exists for the people and not for itself. It must speak to the realities of the people of Laikipia in the areas of health, agriculture, infrastructure, women and youth empowerment, among others. We are the people’s assembly,” says Mr Mariru In addition to the ward visits, members of the county assembly and staff have had a lot of exposure in carrying out their respective activities. Despite being a formative year, the county assembly organized several capacity building sessions with an aim of ensuring that members and staff acquire the appropriate skills and knowledge necessary for execution of their mandate. Nationally, Laikipia boasts of one of the most diversified county assembly. The National Alliance (TNA) party, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party and Grand National Union (GNU), are all represented in the house. The composition of the county assembly also reflects youthfulness with energy and new ideas and the old with their wisdom and experience. Despite the age and party differences among the members, Laikipia county assembly can be said to have one of the most cohesive county assemblies in the country. Members normally conduct their business in a very respectful and dignified manner. The assembly will today be launching a five-year strategic plan that would help it in harnessing the county’s limited resources and direct the energies to what is most important. The plan outlines the objectives and activities that would guide it in deepening the legislative assembly culture and improving the administrative mechanisms of the institution to serve people better. “It is deliberately designed to transcend the political cycle as it is not merely a political tool, but an organizational instrument that seeks to define the path of the institution into the future,” Mr Mariru said. County assembly clerk Jasper Mutuiri says the institution has over the past year tried to chart its path as it sought to execute its mandate. “There have been a lot of challenges considering that the assembly as an institution is new at the county level and so were members of staff who were supposed to organize it on interim basis. However, it is gratifying to note that it is now fully functional,” Mr Mutuiri says. The county assembly service board has recruited enough personnel and it is now in the process of training them to enable them facilitate and support members undertake their role. According to Mr Mutuiri, the role of staff is critical not only researching, helping in drafting bills and motions, but also in preparing reports of all the work undertaken by the members. A document that would be launched today is the committee management manual provides a framework to members and staff in managing committees’ work. Much of the county assembly’s work is normally done through committees. As such the success of deliberations by various committees, report writing and subsequent tabling in the house determines the efficiency and effectiveness of the assembly. “From the capacity building undertaken so far, members and staff have been able to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. The committees are now organized, there are work plans and there is always public participation in their work as required by the constitution,” said Mr Mutuiri. The county assembly’s standing orders have been revised ostensibly to help members of the public understand the environment under which the assembly operates inside the chamber and in committee rooms. On the other hand, the Speaker’s rules which define the expected conduct of the members, staff and the public while within the precincts of the assembly are ready. Although the Laikipia county assembly has covered a lot of ground over the past year, the strategic plan being launched today will be critical in guiding its activities up to 2018. “It will outline the paths that the assembly will travel as it undertakes its constitutional mandate of legislation, oversight and representation,” Mr Mutuiri said. Among the documents that will be launched is the annual progress report that summarizes all the activities that the assembly has undertaken so far in plenary and committees. It will now be easier to voters to monitor the contributions of their respective members as the Hansard report which gives verbatim proceedings in the house will be compiled and availed to them. The official website will be a critical tool that will enhance public participation through public engagement, Mr Mutuiri said. With the county assembly having done its part, it is up to Laikipia county residents to make use of the documents and constructively engage the members. The Speaker and the Clerks assures them that the assembly will always remain a people’s assembly in all aspects.
February 27th 2014
March 1st 2014