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County Assembly holds consultative meeting with development partners 

There is a need to equip Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) with the necessary knowledge and strategic skills to enable them discharge their legislative duty effectively, Garissa County Assembly Speaker, Abdi Idle, has said.

Opening a one-day consultative meeting that brought together the County Assembly members and development partners at a Garissa hotel, Idle said lack of capacity building was a major stumbling block facing county assemblies countrywide.

The Speaker said that the critical role played by the County Assembly in delivering their core mandate of legislation, representation and oversight, cannot be underestimated.

Idle noted that for the MCAs to fulfill their legislative, representation and oversight roles, they need intensive training and capacity building.

“Capacity building skills, the leaders will learn on how to communicate and engage with the media efficiently and use it as a medium to pass on relevant information to the people,” Idle said.

The Speaker called on organizations engaged in gender equality and other donors to chip in, so as to increase their participation and representation in their respective county assemblies and improve on the content or issues they try to advocate for.

Deputy Speaker, Musdaf Abdirashid, lamented that unlike in the National Assembly and Senator that are autonomous legislative institutions, the county assemblies are still operating at ‘the mercy of the Executive or the Governors’.

Abdirashid said that for County Assemblies, to execute their three roles of legislative, representation and oversight, they must be made autonomous and delinked from the Executive.

“How can you bite the hands that feed you? We entirely depend on the Governors for our day to day activities and therefore impossible to oversee them,” Abdirashid said.

“This has to a large extent compromised the MCAs mandate of being impartial, as they operate at the mercy of the Executive. This has to change,” he added.

Among the issues highlighted during the meeting were on how to support women in leadership specifically women caucus, youths and special persons with disabilities

On the issue of Gender equality, the clerk to the Assembly, Mohamud Santur, said that a lot of strides have been made to bridge the gender disparity of female MCAs, where they chair five House Committees, while the remaining are vice chairs of the other committees.

The County Assembly is deliberate in its quest to engage with the development partners so as to effectively execute its core constitutional mandate.

The partners present included UNICEF, UNDP, UN women, women caucus, SOCCAT and council of governors among others.

By Jacob Songok

 

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