Chiefs and their assistants in Imenti South Sub-County have been urged to be more proactive in seeking to understand the law of the land so as to make informed decisions in line of duty performance.
Speaking during a one-day seminar on legal matters relating to the administrators’ work at the sub-county boardroom, area Deputy County Commissioner Mary Mwangi said national government employees should be guided by the existing legal provisions as they interact with the public in their tour of duty.
Mwangi said it was upon all national government administrative officers to ensure they understood existing legal processes and procedures for them to interpret the same to the public correctly for purposes of improving the quality of services offered to the public they served.
The DCC said due to lack of proper information and knowledge on how to apply existing legal frameworks, some chiefs and assistants have at one time overstepped their core mandate and assumed the role of courts, where they ignorantly preside over or witness the dissolution of marriages whether religious or customary in their areas of jurisdiction.
She pointed out that in some of the cases handled at the chiefs and assistants’ level, the plight of children was at stake and none of them had the power to decide on the custody or a child or children, since that was the responsibility of the Children’s Officer or a volunteer in the area at that particular area.
Mwangi called on the administrators to ensure that all cases presented in their respective offices were recorded, interrogated and sorted out professionally for purposes of handing over to the relevant authorities for the best decisions to be made to the benefit and satisfaction of the client.
The administrator reiterated that maintaining law and order in the society was a collective responsibility, adding that national government administrators had the core of building public confidence and trust with the government to protect it from any form of contempt or ridicule.
She also said chiefs and assistants had an obligation to encourage family meetings on any emerging issues, especially on succession matters, which she said had become the root cause of family wrangles in many areas.
The sub-county chief further urged the administrators to give the family adequate time to deliberate on the agenda matters to conclusion with very limited intervention unless called upon to do so.
“The main purpose of attending such meetings should be overall coordination for order, after which the attendance list of all members present should be signed accordingly, and minutes accompanied by the relevant official documents required in solving the matter at hand attached as evidence,” Mwangi said.
By Makaa Margaret