The counties if Kenya are geographical units of devolved government. The powers are provided in Articles 191 and 192 and in the fourth schedule of the Constitution of Kenya and the County Governments Act of 2012.
The counties are also single member constituencies for the election of members of parliament to the Senate of Kenya and special women members of parliament to the National Assembly of Kenya.
There are 47 counties in Kenya. County governments were established based on the 1992 Districts of Kenya, after the general elections in 2013. The counties’ names are set out in the First Schedule of the Constitution of Kenya.
County governments are responsible for:
- county legislation (outlined in article 185 of the Constitution of Kenya),
- executive functions (outlined in article 183),
- functions outlined in the fourth schedule of the constitution of Kenya,
- functions transferred from the national government through article 187 of the Constitution of Kenya,
- functions agreed upon with other countries under article 189(2) of the Constitution of Kenya, and
- establishment and staffing of a public service (under article 235 of the Constitution of Kenya)
County Executive Committee
The county governor and the deputy county governor are the chief executive and deputy chief executive of the county, respectively.The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission shall not conduct a separate election for the deputy governor but shall declare the running mate of the person who is elected county governor to have been elected as the deputy governor. Each county will be run by an executive committee, consisting of:
- A governor, elected directly by the people
- A deputy, elected as running mate of the successful candidate for governorship
- A number of committee members not exceeding a third (or ten where a county assembly has more than 30 members) of the members of the respective county assembly
- A county secretary, nominated by the governor and approved by the county assembly, who will double up as head of the county public service, and secretary to the county executive committee.
The counties will each have an assembly whose members are elected from single member constituencies known as wards. There may also be a number of nominated members as is necessary to ensure that neither male nor female members constitute more than two-thirds of the assembly. There will also be six nominated members to represent marginalized groups (persons with disabilities, and the youth) and a speaker who will be an ex officio member of the assembly.[