In 2018, CAF partnered with DFID & DAI towards capacity building of the chairpersons of the Women Caucus groups. Women caucuses have been established with the aim of increasing the role of women in political decisions. Capacity building of leaders is imperative in offering peer support that is important in the promotion of gender equality policy and legislative agenda. While almost all the 47 County Assemblies have women caucus groups there is doubt regarding the effectiveness of these groups in influencing political decision-making.
The capacity building areas revolved around; current emerging trends in Women Leadership & the challenges faced by the women Legislators at different County Assemblies and Action planning for the individual members. Instructively, this program targeted a total of 9 County Assemblies namely; Makueni, Taita Taveta, Wajir, West Pokot, Homabay, Busia, Baringo, Turkana and Samburu. The program was conducted in two main phases. In the first phase, a needs assessment test was conducted with the view of identifying the capacity gaps and challenges facing MCAs in their oversight mandates in the County Assemblies. Emerging issues from the need’s assessment included lack of mandate clarity and limited human resource. A capacity development plan was subsequently developed with the view of addressing the emerging issues.
Following the first phase is the second phase which conducting of capacity building workshops that were aimed at strengthening the oversight capacity of the MCAs. These workshops targeted Women Caucus groups, Chairpersons of the liaison committees and staff of the County Assemblies. As a result of this program, there was increased understanding among the MCAs regarding their budgeting processes in line with the PFM ACT. At the same time, Women Caucus groups are now able to oversight reports. What’s more, there is increased adherence to standing orders. Moreover, the strategic lobbying skills of the Women leaders in a patriarchal society were enhanced.
Salaries and financial autonomy of County Assemblies
Renumeration of MCAs has been an issue of contention following the SRCs Gazette Notice No. 6518 of July 7, 2017 which announced pay cuts for MCAs. Following this, CAF successfully lobbied for the revision of terms of engagement for MCAs. Equally CAF Successfully negotiated with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to conduct a job evaluation of MCAs and County Assemblies staff. The intergovernmental committee negotiated with Senate, Controller of Budget (CoB), Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), National Treasury and Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) on the financial autonomy of County Assemblies. This resulted in the opening and operationalization of development accounts for County Assemblies at the CBK.
Negotiations with Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) CAF successfully negotiated with the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) to have Regulation 25 (1) (f) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), 2012, annulled as it was ultra vires to Section 107 (2A) of the PFMA in the sense that it intended to impose new ceilings on County Assemblies when the correct procedure had already been included in the parent Act. Liaison with KLRC CAF liaised with the Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC) in developing a publication on the legislative process (A Guide to the Legislative Process in Kenya) and county model laws to strengthen the legislative role of County Assemblies. Public assets and liabilities CAF partnered with the Transition Authority (TA) to develop a framework for transfer and/or sharing of public assets and liabilities between the national and County Governments and to constitute an inter-agency technical committee that developed a uniform scheme of service for all County Assemblies.
A key strategic area of CAF is supporting development of legislations and policies that are geared towards enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of County Assemblies. In 2018, CAF successfully lobbied the Senate to have the following legislations passed: Powers and Privileges Act The County Assemblies Powers and Privileges Act, 2014 provides for the powers, privileges and immunities of County Assemblies, their committees and members, and makes provisions for regulating admittance to and conduct within the precincts of County Assemblies. Public Appointments Act, 2014 The Public Appointments (County Assemblies Approval) Act, 2014. The Act provides the procedure for the approval of public appointments by County Assemblies. County Government (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 2016 The County Government (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 2016, which provides for the procedure to be followed in the event of suspension of a County Government. It provides for the procedure for the disposal of a report of a commission of inquiry under Article 192(2) and provides for the termination or suspension of a County Government by the Senate. Enactment of CAF into law In 2018, CAF took part in the Review of the County Government Act, 2012 & the Intergovernmental Relations Act, 2012. The main agenda of CAF through this act was to advocate for the Forum to be enacted into law. The success of this amendment was the recognition of the office of the deputy speakers in the County Assemblies. Recognition of the office of the Deputy speaker A significant achievement for the CAF has been recognition of the office of the Deputy Speaker. Following the Petition No.8 of 2018, the High Court of Kenya at Nyeri observed that the office of the deputy speaker is an office that is recognized in by Constitution of Kenya under article 178. (2)(b) section 21(3) and (4) which provides in no uncertain terms the election of the deputy speaker.
CAPACITY BUILDING OF MEMBERS One of the core mandates of CAF is capacity building of members. Below are some of the key achievements of CAF with regards to capacity building of members. Capacity building for Wajir County CAF has been seeking to enhance the capacity of the counties which have faced historical marginalization. Wajir County is an example of such counties that need greater capacity development for legislative, oversight and representation strengthening. CAF is committed to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) and especially SDG 5- Gender Equality. CAF has continued to put emphasis on the need to ensure gender equality through gender mainstreaming. In 2018, CAF in partnership with the UN Women undertook a project that was aimed at ensuring that County Assemblies capacity are enhanced to mainstream and integrate gender in their legislative business including enhancing the participation of women legislators. CAF conducted sensitization workshops for County Assemblies’ party whips, chairpersons of women caucus, as well as majority and minority party leaders in the County Assemblies. In the same period also conducted CAF capacity building workshops for implementation committees and budget committees. The output of these activities is that there was change of attitude towards women leadership among male MCAs. The party whips committed to ensure that they whip their party members to vote for equal representation in the house committees. The party leaders committed to support bills and motions sponsored by their Women MCAs. In order to ensure harmonized and sustainable gender mainstreaming, CAF developed a curriculum for the training of women MCAs. Following the launching of the curriculum, a total of 457 women MCAs was trained and mentored on leadership skills representing 62% of the total number of nominated and elected women MCA. What’s more, 42 County Assemblies were represented in the cluster trainings – 89.3%. These women leaders made commitment to strengthen their caucus groups towards achieving gender equality in the assemblies