Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Governor: Politician or Manager?

This is by all means one of the most powerful positions created in the new system of government. Elected directly by the people together with the deputy governor as the running mate, the governor will be charged with heading the executive of the county government. The governor is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that  public services assigned to the county government are properly delivered. Its the governor who will ascent to all laws of the county. The governor will appoint the County Executive Committee (local cabinet) of persons not exceeding 10 from among non-County Assembly Members (CAM). Thus the largest CEC will be comprised of 12 persons. A person elected to the office of a governor can only serve for a maximum of two terms of 5 years each. There shall be a governor for each of the 47 Counties.

Though the governor will be a politician, he will be expected to play a leadership and managerial role to ensure that the county makes progress. That includes implementing all policies of the county; implement national legislation within the county to the extent expected; manage and coordinate the functions of the county administration and its departments. The governors will also be expected to lead their counties in establishing mutual relationships with other counties and the national government. A greater role of the first governors will be to cast a vision and lay a foundation of long term prosperity  of their counties. It will be a pity if a governor consumed by political survival and greed will fail to put a firm foundation. 

Thus the governor is the person with whom the back stops in terms of how well a county government is run and is to be downwardly accountable to the citizens in the county. S/he is also to be accountable to the national government for the use of resources transferred to the county and for any national government functions delegated to the county.

Our Rights and Responsibilities 
It is a fact that the governor will be the person who will carry the heaviest burden of service delivery. Some thoughts come to mind in relation to the governor and the functions of that office:-
  • Those of us with the requisite skills and capacity should seek to lead their counties as governors;
  • Professionals should seek appointments to the County Executive Committees as this will be the persons heading the departments (ministries) of the county government;
  • We have a right to receive services equitably at all parts of a county and a responsibility to play our role in abiding with the county laws and policies;
  • We have a role to hold the governor accountable for her/his actions for we are the beneficiaries or victims of any such actions;
  • The governor has a responsibility to foster unity in diversity in the county and a right to receive our full support in such efforts
Without disregard for any other elective office, it would be proper to make a deeper consideration on which person to elect as governor. It would also be in order to give such a person a majority in the County Assembly so as to ensure that much effort is on service delivery and not on fighting political battles in the County Assembly.

Do you know who is vying for governor in your county? 

In the next post we look at what will the County Governments are expected to do.

In Service to God and Our Country 


  1. what are the functions of the governor?

  2. S/He is the 'president" of the county. As CEO he is responsible for service delivery and ascenting to all laws passed in a given county.


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