Governors on Monday won the first round of a fight with the national government over control of regional development agencies when the High Court ruled that it has jurisdiction to determine a constitutional dispute that involves both levels of governance.
In the ruling, Justice John Mativo defended the governors’ bid to challenge the fact that some functions are still under the national government yet they are supposed to be devolved.
“I find that the Council of Governors fits well. It has instituted proceedings claiming contravention or threatened violation of the Constitution,” said Justice Mativo. He added: “They represent individual, county and national interests. The case lodged and the issues raise a constitutional matter of public interest and I consequently find as well as hold that they have capacity to be before this court.”
The Council of Governors (CoG) has sued six development authorities together with the attorney-general. The six include Lake Basin, Kerio Valley, Tana and Athi River, Ewaso Ng’iro South River, Coast, and Ewaso Ng’iro North river basin development authorities. CoG also wants part of the law governing the said authorities declared unconstitutional.
According to governors, the authorities’ scope of work should be under the counties and not the national government.