Background information on Nairobi City County
Nairobi City County is one of the 47 counties in the Republic of Kenya that were established under the constitution of Kenya 2010. The County is the successor of the defunct City Council of Nairobi, and operates under the County Governments Act and a host of other statutes.
The County is situated at 1°17′South 36°49′ East in South-Central Kenya, 140 Kilometres (87 miles) south of the Equator. It is surrounded by 113 km² (70 mi²) of plains, cliffs and forest that makes up the city’s Nairobi National Park. It is adjacent to the eastern edge of the Rift Valley, and to the west of the city, are The Ngong Hills. Mount Kenya is situated north of Nairobi, and Mount Kilimanjaro is towards the south-east.
It is the most populous city in East Africa, with a current estimated population of about 3.5 million. This makes it the 14th largest city in Africa. Being Kenya’s capital and the arrival point for many visitors, it is well served by international airlines, and a regional road network linking it to other major East African urban centres. Railways link Nairobi to Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city located on the shores of the Indian Ocean and Kisumu, the third largest city, located on the shores of Lake Victoria.
The Nairobi City County Government is charged with the responsibility of providing a variety of services to residents within its area of jurisdiction. These include functions that have been devolved under part two of the fourth Schedule of the Constitution.
The county is composed of 17 Administrative Sub-Counties consisting of 85 Wards. The Sub-Counties are Westlands, Dagoretti North, Dagoretti South, Langata, Kibra, Roysambu, Kasarani, Ruaraka, Embakasi South, Embakasi North, Embakasi Central, Embakasi East, Embakasi West, Makadara, Kamukunji, Starehe and Mathare. The County has a total of 123 Members of County Assembly (MCAs) – 85 elected and 38 nominated in accordance with Article 177 (b) of the Constitution
The Nairobi City County, in execution of responsibilities and functions bestowed upon it by the Constitution has been divided into two arms as follows:
- The Legislative Arm or the County Assembly headed by the Speaker
- The Executive Arm led by the Governor
The Nairobi City County Assembly (NCCA):
The Speaker is the head of the legislature and presides over the plenary sittings of the County Assembly. The legislative arm of the County is responsible for legislation, oversight and representation. The legislature comprises of elected and nominated Members of the County Assembly who perform their legislative, oversight and representation function through the organs of the County Assembly namely the plenary and the various committees of the Assembly.
The Nairobi City County Executive Committee:
This is the Executive arm of the County Government led by the Governor, the Deputy Governor and Members of the County Executive Committee. Broadly, the County Executive Committee consists of the County Public Service Board and the County Executive Committee. The County Executive Committee, appointed by the governor with the approval of the County Assembly, comprises ten members and is the highest policy making organ of the county. Each member of the County Executive Committee is responsible for operations of the respective sector within the County.
How The Assembly Works
Like all other County Assemblies in Kenya, the Nairobi City County Assembly was created by the Constitution of Kenya 2010, and ope rationalized by the County Government Act No. 17 of 2012.
Article 176 (Chapter Eleven) of the Constitution of Kenya establishes County Governments consisting of a County Assembly and a County Executive. The Chapter further sets out the roles, functions and other matters relating to the membership and operations of the County Assembly.
Section 8 of the County Governments Act provides that the County Assembly shall vet and approve nominees for appointment to county public offices, perform the roles set out under Article 185 of the Constitution, approve the budget and expenditure of the county government in accordance with Article 207 of the Constitution, and the legislation contemplated in Article 220 (2) of the Constitution, guided by Articles 201 and 203 of the Constitution, approve the borrowing by the county government in accordance with Article 212 of the Constitution, approve county development planning and perform any other role as may be set out under the Constitution or legislation.
Article 185 of the Constitution provides for the legislative authority of county assemblies, vesting the legislative authority of a county and the exercise of that authority in its County Assembly. The Assembly has powers to make any laws that are necessary for, or incidental to, the effective performance of the functions and exercise of the powers of the county government under the Fourth Schedule. It also provides that a county Assembly, while respecting the principle of the separation of powers, may exercise oversight over the county executive committee and any other county executive organs. The Assembly also receives and approves plans and policies for the management and exploitation of the County’s resources and the development and management of its infrastructure and institutions. County Assemblies are expected to conduct oversight over the County Executive, which has been expanded greatly, with extended control over critical County processes such as the budgeting process, public appointment and County legislation among others.