Counties in Kenya
Counties in Kenya: The Kenya Constitution has introduced two levels of government, the national government and the County government, which are distinct and interdependent. Kenya has 47 counties to be headed by governors.
The national government will ensure reasonable access to its services in all parts of the country. The two levels will conduct their affairs mutually on the basis of consultation and cooperation.
Devolution is enshrined in Chapter 11 of the Constitution. It legalizes the formation of the 47 counties, each with its own government as spelt out in the County Governments Act, 2012. This Act also created elaborate structures to ensure the full implementation and success of devolution.
The county governments have executive and legislative authority, including the accompanying mandates and powers, to raise limited revenue, establish policies, plans, budget and governance. Under this Act, the national government is obliged to support the county governments.
The form of the devolved government is defined in Section Six, which states that though the two levels of government are distinct,they remain independent.
Here is a list of the 47 counties in Kenya
Baringo County, nicknamed “County Number 1” is truly the land of a thousand views located in the ululating hills of the expanded Rift Valley with vast terrains of valleys and escarpments. It prides itself as the only county to have produced the longest serving and the 2nd President of Kenya H.E the Former President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi. It is in the heart of the former Rift Valley Province with 6 Constituencies including, Baringo Central, Baringo South, Eldama Ravine, Mogotio, Tiaty and Baringo North. Kabarnet is the administrative capital of the county.
For more information visit: Baringo County
Bomet County is a county in the former Rift Valley Province of Kenya. Its capital and largest town is Bomet. Bomet County is a multiracial, multi-ethnic nation with citizens of diverse socio-economic, religious and cultural backgrounds co-existing with the collective will of making things better for future generations.
For more information visit: Bomet County
Bungoma County is located in Western Kenya and runs along the Kenya-Uganda border. It borders Busia County, Kakamega County and Trans-Nzoia County. The climate favours agriculture as temperature ranges between a minimum of 15 degrees with an upper maximum of 30 degrees centigrade with an average rainfall of 1500 mm.
For more information visit: Bungoma County
Busia County is located in western Kenya, it borders Lake Victoria to the South West, the Republic of Uganda to the West, North and North East, and the following Counties; Bungoma and Kakamega to the East, and Siaya to the South East and South.
For more information visit: Busia County
Elgeyo Marakwet County
Elgeyo Marakwet County is located in Rift Valley region and it borders West Pokot county to the North, Baringo county to the East, South East and South, Uasin Gishu county to the South West and West, and Trans Nzoia county to the North West.
For more information visit: Elgeyo Marakwet County
Embu County is located in the Eastern region of Kenya, it borders Tharaka Nithi County to the North, Kitui County to the East, Machakos County to the South, Muranga County to the South West, Kirinyaga County to the West, and Meru county to the North West.
For more information visit: Embu County
Garissa County is an administrative county in the North Eastern region of Kenya. Its capital town is Garissa town. Garissa County has a total population of 623,060. A male population of 334,939 and a female population of 288,121 (census 2009)
For more information visit: Garissa County
Homa Bay County
HomaBay County is located in the Southern part of Nyanza region, along the southern shores of Lake Victoria. Homa Bay County borders five Counties;- Migori County to the South, Kisii County and Nyamira County to the East, and Kericho Countyand Kisumu County to the North East. It is accessible by lake transport, road and air. The County headquarters –Homa Bay town is located some 105 km south of Kisumu and about 420 km south-west of Nairobi.
For more information visit: Homa Bay County
Isiolo County is located in the upper eastern region of Kenya. It borders seven counties with Garissa to the east, Wajir to the north east, Meru to the south west, Samburu to the east and Marsabit to the north west, with Kitui and Tana River counties to the south west and south east respectively.
For more information visit: Isiolo County
Kajiado county covers an approximated area of 21,900.9 square kilometers. The County has Nairobi, Machakos, Makueni, Narok, Taita Taveta and Kiambu counties as its immediate neighbours.
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For more information visit: Kajiado County
Kakamega County is one of the 47 counties in the Republic of Kenya. The headquarters of Kakamega County is Kakamega town. The county borders Vihiga County to the south, Siaya County to the West, Bungoma County to the North and Nandi County to the East. It covers an area of 3050.3 km²
For more information visit: Kakamega County
Kericho County has a population of over one million, six constituencies namely Kipkelion East Constituency, Kipkelion West Constituency, Ainamoi Constituency, Bureti Constituency, Belgut Constituency, and Sigowet –Soin Constituency which are also referred to us sub-Counties in the County administration.
For more information visit: Kericho County
Kiambu County is located in central Kenya, it borders Murang’a county to the North and North East, Machakos county to the East, Nairobi and Kajiado counties to the South, Nakuru county to the West, and Nyandarua county to the North West.
For more information visit: Kiambu County
Kilifi County covers a total surface area of 12,610 km2 and accounts for 2.17 percent of Kenya’s total surface area. It borders Tana River county to the North, Taita Taveta county to the West, Mombasa county and Kwale county to the South and the Indian Ocean to the East.
For more information visit: Kilifi County
Kirinyaga County borders Nyeri County, Murang’a County and Embu County.It covers an area of 1,478.1 square kilometers. The county lies between 1,158 metres and 5,380 metres above sea level in the South and at the Peak of Mt. Kenya respectively. Mt. Kenya which lies on the northern side greatly influences the landscape of the county as well as other topographical features.
For more information visit: Kirinyaga County
Kisii County borders Nyamira County to the North East, Narok County to the South and Homabay county and Migori County to the West. The County lies between latitude 00 30’ and 100 South and longitude 340 38’ and 350 East. It covers an area of 1,302 km² , a population of 1,152,282 people as per the 2009 census.
For more information visit: Kisii County
Kisumu County borders Vihiga County to the North, Nandi County to the North East, Kericho County to the East, Nyamira County to the South, Homa Bay County to the South West and Siaya County to the West.
For more information visit: Kisumu County
Kitui County is located 170 km to the South East of the capital Nairobi. It covers an area of about 30,496 km2. It borders Machakos County and Makueni County to the West, Tana River County to the East, Taita-Taveta County to the South, and Embu County and Tharaka- Nithi County to the North. It is about two and half hours’ drive from Nairobi and 30 minutes flight by a chopper.
For more information visit: Kitui County
Kwale County is situated in the south coast of Kenya. It borders Taita Taveta County to the West, Kilifi County to the North, Mombasa County to the North East, the Indian Ocean to the East and the Republic of Tanzania to the South West. The County covers a total surface area of 8,270.2 square km and accounts for 1.42 per cent of Kenya’s total surface area.
For more information visit: Kwale County
Laikipia County is one of the 14 counties within the Rift Valley region and one of the 47 counties in the Republic of Kenya.
The County borders Samburu County to the North, Isiolo County to the North East, Meru County to the East, Nyeri County to the South East, Nyandarua County and Nakuru County to the South West and Baringo County to the West.
For more information visit: Laikipia County
The lamu Archipelago is a small group of Island situated on Kenya’s Northern Coastline, near Somali. It is made up of Lamu, Manda, Pate, and Kiwayuu islands. Lamu town is the headquarter of Lamu County.
The County has a land surface area of 6,474.7 km2 that includes the mainland and over 65 Islands that form the Lamu Archipelago. The total length of the coastline is 130 km while land water mass area stands at 308 km
For more information visit: Lamu County
Machakos County, nicknamed ‘Macha,’ was the first capital city of Kenya and now, it is an administrative county located in the Eastern region of Kenya. Machakos Town is the administrative capital of the county.
For more information visit: Machakos County
Makueni County covers an area of 8,034.7 sq km and geographically borders Kajiado County to the West, Taita Taveta County to the South, Kitui County to the East and Machakos County to the North.
For more information visit: Makueni County
Mandera County is located in the North Eastern region of Kenya. It borders Ethiopia to the North, Somalia Republic to the East, and Wajir County to the South and South West. The county covers an area of 25,797.70 km2 and has a population of 1,025, 756. Its headquarters are located in Mandera Town. It is about 1,100 km from the capital city of Nairobi by road.
For more information visit: Mandera County
Meru County is located along the eastern side of the Mt Kenya ring road. The county borders Isiolo county to the North, Nyeri county to the South West, Tharaka-Nithi county to the South West and Laikipia county to the West.
It covers an area of 6,936 square kilometers and is located 225 kilometers northeast of Nairobi City.
For more information visit: Meru County
For more information visit: Migori County
Marsabit County borders Ethiopia to the North and North East, Wajir County to the East,Isiolo County to the South East, Samburu County to the South and South West and Lake Turkana to the West and North West in the former Eastern Province is vast, with an area spawning 70,961.3Km2.
For more information visit: Marsabit County
Mombasa County is the smallest county in the coastal region, covering an area of 229.7 Km2 excluding 65 Km2 of water mass. The county is situated in the South Eastern part of Coast region. It borders Kilifi County to the North, Kwale County to the South West and the Indian Ocean to the East.
For more information visit: Mombasa County
Murang’a County is one of the five counties in Central region of the Republic of Kenya. It is bordered to the North by Nyeri county, to the South by Kiambu county, to the West by Nyandarua county and to the East by Kirinyaga county, Embu county and Machakos county.
It lies between latitudes 0o 34’ South and 107’ South and Longitudes 36o East and 37o 27’ East. The county occupies a total area of 2,558.8Km2.
For more information visit: Muranga County
Nairobi Kenya is the only capital city in the world with a national park on its boundaries, making it a prime tourist destination. Nairobi city has a diverse and multicultural composition; there are a number of churches, mosques, temples, and gurdwaras within Nairobi city. Nairobi is home to several museums, sites, and monuments, plus spectacular five star hotels to cater for safari-bound tourists.
For more information visit: Nairobi County
Nakuru County is home to the fourth largest town in Kenya Nakuru Town and the administrative capital of the former Rift Valley Province. It is one of the most cosmopolitan counties in Kenya with a sizable population of Kenyans of Indian and European descent. People from different regions of the country have added a unique flavor to the county. It hosts a number of towns such as Molo, Njoro, Gilgil and Naivasha a popular tourist destination.
For more information visit: Nakuru County
Nandi County is Kenya’s athletics hub.It is home to tens of the world’s celebrated athletes, including world record breakers such as Pamela Jelimo, Janet Jepkosgei and the legendary athlete Kipchoge Keino.
The 2,884 square kilometers‘ home of champions’ borders Baringo county to the east, Vihiga county and Kakamega county to the west, Uasin Gishu county to the north, Kisumu county to the south and Kericho county to the south-east.
For more information visit: Nandi County
Narok County is situated in Kenya along the Great Rift Valley. The county is named after, Enkare Narok, the river flowing through Narok town. Narok County covers an area of 17,944 sq km and has a population of 850,920. The temperature range is 12 to 28 0C and the average rainfall range of 500 to 1,800 mm per annum.
For more information visit: Narok County
Nyamira county borders Homabay County to the north, Kisii County to the west, Bomet County to the south east and Kericho County to the east. The County covers an area of 899km2 and lies between 00 30’ and 0045’ south, 340 45’ and 350 00’ east. Its capital and largest town is Nyamira town.
For more information visit: Nyamira County
Nyandarua County is a County in the former Central Province of Kenya. Its capital and largest town is Ol Kalou town. Formerly the capital was Nyahururu town, which is now part of the Laikipia County. Nyandarua County has population of 596,268 and an area of 3,304 km².
For more information visit: Nyandarua County
Nyeri County is one of the 47 counties in Kenya and is located in the central region of Kenya. Its capital and largest town is Nyeri town. It covers an area of 2,475.4 km2. It borders Laikipia County to the north, Kirinyaga County to the east, Murang‘a County to the south, Nyandarua County to the west and Meru County to the northeast.
For more information visit: Nyeri County
Samburu County borders Baringo County to the west, Laikipia County to the south, lsiolo County to the East and Turkana County to the northwest and Marsabit County to the north. Maralal town is its headquarters. Samburu County is administratively divided into three sub-counties: – Central, East and North.
For more information visit: Samburu County
The County of Siaya borders Busia County to the North, Kakamega County to the Northeast, Vihiga County to the East, Kisumu County to the South East, with Lake Victoria to the South and West.
For more information visit: Siaya County
Taita Taveta County
Taita Taveta County is located in the Coastal region of Kenya, it borders Makueni County, Kitui County, and Tana River County to the North, Kilifi County and Kwale County to the East, the Republic of Tanzania to the South and South-west, and Kajiado County to the North West.
For more information visit: Taita Taveta County
Tana River County
Tana River County is one of the forty-seven (47) counties in the Republic of Kenya. The County takes its name from River Tana which is the longest river in Kenya.
For more information visit: Tana River County
Tharaka Nithi County
Tharaka-Nithi County is located in the Eastern region of Kenya and constitutes 2 constituencies namely: Nithi and Tharaka. Tharaka is the only district in this County.
For more information visit: Tharaka Nithi County
Trans Nzoia County
Trans Nzoia County is found in Kenya’s former Rift Valley Province 380 km North West of Nairobi. It situated within an area of 2,495.5 km2 surrounded by the Republic of Uganda to the North West, Bungoma County to the West and South West, Kakamega County and Uasin Gishu County to the South East, Elgeyo Markwet County to the East and West Pokot County to the North.
For more information visit: Trans Nzoia County
Turkana County is located in northwestern Kenya and borders Marsabit County to the east,Samburu County to the south-east, Baringo County and West Pokot County to the south. Lodwar Town is the county’s headquarter.
For more information visit: Turkana County
Uasin Gishu County
Uasin Gishu County is situated in the mid west of Kenya’s Rift Valley, some 330km North West of Nairobi. Uasin Gishu is a cosmopolitan county, covering an area of 3345.2 square kilometres.
Uasin Gishu County borders Kericho county to the south, Nandi County to the south west, Bungoma County to the west, and Trans Nzoia County to the north. Other counties sharing borders with Uasin Gishu are Elgeyo Marakwet County to the east and Baringo County to the South East.
For more information visit: Uasin Gishu County
Vihiga County whose headquarters is in Mbale is Located in the Western Region of Kenya. It boarders Nandi to the East, Kisumu County to the South, Siaya County to the West and Kakamega County to the North. It is one of the four Counties in the former Western Province. Vihiga.
For more information visit: Vihiga County
Wajir County is located in North Eastern Kenya. It borders Mandera County to the North and North East, The Republic of Somalia to the East, Garissa County to the South and South West, Isiolo County and Marsabit County to the West, and the Republic of Ethiopia to the North West. The county covers an area of 56,685.8 sq Km. The administrative headquarters of the county is Wajir Town.
For more information visit: Wajir County
West Pokot County
West Pokot County is located in the Rift Valley region. It borders Turkana County to the North, Baringo County to the East, Elgeyo Marakwet County and Trans Nzoia County to the South, and The Republic of Uganda to the West.
For more information visit: West Pokot County
About Counties in Kenya
Top 10 Richest Counties in Kenya
- Kajiado County
- Kirinyaga County
- Meru County
- Lamu County
- Kiambu County
- Nairobi County
- Mombasa County
- Narok County
- Murang’a County
- Uasin Gishu County
Largest Counties in Kenya
- Marsabit County (Largest County in Kenya): Total land area of 66,923.1 km2 square kilometres. (
- Turkana County: Total land area of 66,680 square kilometres.
- Wajir County: Total land area of 55,840.6 square kilometres.
- Garissa County: Total land area of 45,720.2 square kilometres.
- Tana River County: Total land area of 35,375.8 square kilometres
- Isiolo County: Total land area of 25,336.1 square kilometres.
- Kitui County: Total land area of 24,385.1 square kilometres.
Smallest Counties in Kenya
- Mombasa County (Smallets County in Kenya): 219 square kilometres
- Vihiga County: Total land area of 531 square kilometres only
- Nairobi County: Total land area of 696 square kilometres
- Nyamira County: Total land area of 912.2 square kilometres
- Kirinyaga County: Total land area of 1205.4 square kilometres
- Kisii County: Total land area of 1,317.9 square kilometers
- Busia County: Total land area of 1,628 square kilometres
Most Populated Counties in Kenya
- Nairobi County had a population of 3,138, 369 in the last census. The county has an area of 695.1km2. The projected population as of 2016 stands at 4,463,149.
- Kakamega County recorded a population of 1,660,651 in the 2009 census. It has an area of 3,051.2 km2. Projected population of the county as per the 2016 report is 1,875,531.
- Kiambu County had a population of 1,623,282 in 2009. The county has an area of 2543.4 km2. Projected population stands at 1,868,208.
- Nakuru County had a population of 1,603,325 in the last census. It occupies an area of 7,495.1km2 and its population projection stands at 2,031,247.
- Bungoma County had a population of 1,374,477 in the last census. The county has an area of 3,592.8km2. The projected population stands at 1,553,434.
- Meru County recorded a population of 1,356,301. It occupies an area 6,936.2 km2. Projected population of the county as per the 2016 report is 1,470,801.
- Kisii County had a population of 1,152,282 in 2009. The county occupies an area of 1,317.5km2. Its projected population as per the 2016 report is 1,346,547.
County News in Kenya
Richest Counties in Kenya: Kenya’s top 10 Richest Counties
Nairobi, Nakuru and Kiambu are Kenya’s top-three richest counties while Lamu, Samburu and Isiolo are the poorest, according to a new report ranking the contribution of Kenya’s 47 regions to the national annual economic output, also known as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Nairobi, with a contribution of 21.7 percent to the overall GDP, is by far Kenya’s richest county, according to a new Kenya National Bureau of Statistics listing released Wednesday. The capital city is more than three-and-a-half times larger in economic terms than Nakuru, the second-richest county with a 6.1 percent share of the GDP. Kiambu (5.5 percent), Mombasa (4.7 percent) and Machakos (3.2 percent) complete the list of Kenya’s top five wealthiest counties in GDP terms.
New Study on Richest Counties in Kenya
The rest of the top ten counties are Meru (2.9 percent), Kisumu (2.9 percent), Nyandarua (2.6 percent), Kakamega (2.4 percent) and Uasin-Gishu (2.3 percent).
The first-ever comprehensive study by KNBS of counties’ wealth provides a measure of how much each region contributed to the national cake as at the end of 2017.“Nairobi seized the lion’s share of Kenya GDP at 21.7 percent,” said KNBS director-general Zachary Mwangi during the report’s release in the capital yesterday.
The report titled Gross County Product (GCP) 2019 was funded by the World Bank. It tracked the monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in each of the 47 counties, with a view to providing a picture of the economic structure and relative size of the economy for each county.
KNBS describes the Gross County Product (GCP) as the net value of goods and services produced within the boundaries of a specific county. It is the equivalent of the county GDP. Nairobi’s contribution to the national wealth dispels the notion that the seat of power accounts for more than 60 percent of national output as previously widely held.
Economic Activities of Richest Counties in Kenya
According to the study, the dominant counties are associated with large populations in urban centres. In addition, the counties are backed by thriving economic activities such as agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, financial and real estate as well as wholesale and retail trade.
The study says that agriculture, which is Kenya’s economic backbone, remains a key driver of growth in most counties with the exception of Nairobi and Mombasa. It helped counties such as Nakuru, Kiambu, Meru, Bungoma, Kakamega and Nyeri to record robust growth powered by agriculture and the services sectors.
“The latest data was drawn from regular data collected by the agency through recurrent and intermittent surveys and censuses and administrative records,” said KNBS. A survey was also conducted in all 47 counties in 2018 to supplement the existing data sets. The counties that contribute the least to national wealth, according to the report, are Isiolo at 0.2 percent and Samburu at 0.3 percent. The others are Lamu (0.4 percent), Marsabit (0.5 percent), Tana River (0.5 percent), Mandera (0.5 percent), Wajir (0.5 percent), Garissa (0.6 percent), West Pokot (0.7 percent) and Taita Taveta (0.5 percent).
Revenue for Richest Counties in Kenya
In providing the wealth estimates generated by each county, the Chairperson of the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), Ms Jane Kiringai, said the study had identified the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is revenue sharing. “The report is expected to help shape the revenue sharing debate,” she said.
CRA has already proposed a formula for sharing of revenue among the 47 counties that will be influenced less by levels of poverty and population of a devolved unit. Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich urged investors and county administrators to exploit the latest data to make investment decisions.
He said that the estimates are expected to be instrumental in supporting county level decision-making and economic planning. “The intention of the report is to promote evidence-based economic planning, programming and policymaking in Kenya,” said Mr Rotich in a speech read on his behalf by Treasury chief administrative secretary Nelson Gaichuhie.
Reacting to the report’s findings, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said the county would maximise the county’s potential by tapping into agriculture and tourism. “A team of economists and experts are currently working on a draft integrated economic plan for the next ten years. This will be a blueprint to guide development for the next decade,” said Mr Kinyanjui.
The Kiambu County executive in charge of finance and economic planning, Mr Francis Kigo Njenga, welcomed the report’s findings.
Source: Adapted From Daily Nation
Structure of County Government in Kenya
Functions of the county government in Kenya
- To promote democratic and accountable exercise of power;
- To foster national unity by recognising diversity;
- To give powers of self – governance to the people and enhance the participation of the people in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions affecting them;
- To recognise the right of communities to manage their own affairs and to further their development;
- To protect and promote the interests and rights of minorities and marginalised communities;
- To promote social and economic development and the provision of proximate, easily accessible services throughout Kenya;
- To ensure equitable sharing of national and local resources throughout Kenya;
- To facilitate the decentralization of State organs, their functions and services, from the capital of Kenya; and
- To enhance checks and balances and the separation of powers.
The county government in Kenya oversee:
- Agriculture (crop and animal husbandry).
- County health services.
- Cultural activities.
- Public entertainment and public amenities.
- County transport.
- Trade development and regulation.
- County planning and development.
- Pre-primary education, village polytechnics, home craft centres and childcare Facilities.
- Implementation of specific national government policies on natural resources, environmental conservation.
- County public works and services.
Removal of a County Governor
A governor can be removed for violating the Constitution, committing a crime under national or international law, abuse of office, gross misconduct or physical and/or mental incapacity to perform the functions of the office.
A county governor may be removed from office on any of the following grounds:
- Gross violation of this Constitution or any other law.
- There are serious reasons for believing that the county governor has committed a crime under national or international law.
- Abuse of office or gross misconduct.
- Physical or mental incapacity to perform the functions of office of county governor.
Vacancy In the office of County Governor
It becomes vacant if the holder dies, resigns or writes a letter to the Speaker of the county assembly or ceases to be eligible to be elected governor. The office also becomes vacant if the governor is convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment for at least 12 months or is removed from office.
If a vacancy occurs, the deputy governor assumes office as governor for the remainder of the term. In such a case, the deputy governor is deemed to have served a full term as county governor if more than two and a half years remain before the next election.
If a vacancy occurs in the offices of the governor and deputy governor, the speaker of the county assembly acts as the governor. An election of governor is then held within 60 days.
Staffing of County Governments
A county government is responsible, within a framework of uniform norms and standards prescribed by an Act
of Parliament for:
- Establishing and abolishing offices in its public service.
- Appointing persons to hold or act in those offices, and confirming appointments.
Suspension of a County Government
The President may suspend a county government due to internal conflict, war or other exceptional circumstances. The suspension cannot be for more than 90 days and when it is over, elections are held.
A county government cannot be suspended unless an independent commission of inquiry has investigated allegations against the county, the President is satisfied the allegations are justified and the Senate has authorised the suspension.
During suspension, arrangements must be made for the performance of the functions of a county government. The Senate may at any time terminate the suspension.
Council of County Governors in Kenya
This is a governors’ caucus and creates a forum through which the county bosses can engage the national government. Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto became the first occupier of the office.
County Government Revenue Funds
With the county framework, the Constitution allows for the establishment of a Revenue Fund for each county government, into which shall be paid all money raised or received by or on behalf of the county government, except money reasonably excluded by an Act of Parliament. The money may be withdrawn from the Revenue Fund of a county government only as authorized by an appropriation by legislation of the county but should be approved by the Controller of Budget.
Counties Revenue-Raising Powers
Only the national government may impose income tax, value added tax, customs duties and other duties on import and export goods and excise tax.
On their side, the counties may impose property rates, entertainment taxes and any other tax that they are authorised to impose by an Act of Parliament. The national and county governments may impose charges for services.
However, it is important to note that the taxation and other revenue – raising powers of a county shall not be exercised in a way that prejudices national economic policies, economic activities across county boundaries or the national mobility of goods, services, capital or labour.
Revenue Allocation Among Counties in Kenya
The Commission on Revenue Allocation make recommendations concerning the basis for the equitable sharing of revenue raised by the national government, between the national and county governments and among the county governments.
According to the Constitution, for every financial year the equitable share of the revenue raised nationally that is allocated to county governments shall be not less than 15 per cent of all revenue collected by the national government.
Currently at Kshs1.5 trillion ($17.65 billion), this means the counties will share about Kshs 203 billion ($2.4 billion).
The Commission on Revenue Allocation has devised a formula of allocating this revenue, which is before Parliament.
According to this formula, counties will receive 45 per cent of this cash based on their population, 20 per cent on poverty and eight per cent on geographical size. In addition, all counties will equally share 25 per cent of the revenues.
Counties that have been marginalised for decades also have an equalisation fund, which will seek to hasten their development so they catch up with the rest.
The Constitution divides the country into 47 counties based on the delineation of administrative districts as created under the Provinces and Districts Act of 1992.
Boundaries of Counties in Kenya
The boundaries of a county will be drawn and may be altered only by a resolution:
- Recommended by an independent commission set up for that purpose by Parliament, and
- Passed by:
- the National Assembly with the support of at least two thirds of all of the members of the Assembly; and
- the Senate with the support of at least two-thirds of all of the county delegations.
The boundaries of a county may be altered when the following factors are put into consideration: Population density and demographic trends.
- Physical and human infrastructure.
- Historical and cultural ties.
- Cost of administration.
- Views of the communities affected.
- Objects of devolution of government.
- Geographical features.
County Assembly in Kenya
Structure of Couty Assemblies in Kenya
Each of the 47 counties has a County Assembly whose members are elected directly by the registered voters of the wards, each ward constituting a single member constituency, on the same day as the General Election of Members of Parliament.
The County Assembly has a speaker elected from among persons who are not members of the assembly.
The executive authority of the county is vested in, and exercised by, a county executive committee, which consists of the county governor and the deputy county governor; and members appointed by the county governor, with the approval of the assembly, from among persons who are not members of the assembly. The county governor and deputy are elected directly.
The national government has the mandate to perform its functions and exercise its powers in a manner that respects the functional and institutional integrity of government at the other level, and respects the constitutional status and institutions of government.
County Assembly consists of members elected by voters of the wards – each ward being a single member constituency – representatives of people with disabilities and the youth nominated by political parties depending on their strength in the assembly, and the Speaker, an ex-official member.
A county assembly will be elected for a term of five years. Its Speaker will be elected by the county assembly from among people who are not assembly members.
- The Speaker will preside or in his or her absence, a member of the assembly elected by the assembly.
- A county assembly may make laws necessary for the effective performance of the county government.
- The assembly will also exercise oversight over the executive committee and other county organs.
A county assembly consists of:
1. Members elected by the registered voters of the wards in a general election.
2. The number of special seats necessary to ensure that no more than two-thirds of the membership of the assembly are of the same gender.
3. Members of marginalised groups, including persons with disabilities and the youth, as prescribed by an Act of Parliament.
4. The Speaker, who is an ex officio member. The members in 2 and 3 are to be nominated by political parties in proportion to the seats received in the election in a particular county.
Functions of County Assemblies
The functions include:
- Making laws for the effective performance of the county government.
- Exercising oversight over the county executive committee.
- Receiving and approving plans and policies for:
- managing and exploiting the county’s resources, and
- developing and managing the infrastructure and institutions.
Eligibility for Election to a County Assembly
One is eligible if he/she:
- Is registered as a voter.
- Satisfies educational, moral and ethical requirements
- Prescribed by law.
- Is either:
- nominated by a political party; or
- an independent candidate supported by at least five hundred registered voters in the Ward concerned.
A person is disqualified from being elected a member of a county assembly if the person:
- Is a State officer or other public officer.
- Has at any time within past five years held office as a member of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
- Has not been a citizen of Kenya for at least ten years before the date of election.
- Is of unsound mind.
- Is an undischarged bankrupt.
- Is serving a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months.
- Has been found in accordance with any law to have
- Misused or abused a State or public office.
County Executive Committees in Kenya
Also referred to as the County Cabinet, comprises not more than 10 members who run key service delivery departments.
The executive authority of the county will be exercised by the county executive committee comprising the governor, deputy governor and members appointed by the county governor, with the approval of the assembly.
The number of the executive committee assembly members should not exceed a third of the county assembly members if it has less than 30 members or 10 if the assembly has 30 or more members.
The county governor and the deputy county governor are the chief executive and deputy chief executive of the county.
When the governor is absent, the deputy governor acts as governor. A person cannot hold office of governor or deputy governor for more than two five-year terms.
The Constitution also establishes the County Assembly Service Boards whose chairman and members must also be vetted by the Assembly.
Functions of county executive committees in Kenya
- Implement county and national legislation that applies to counties;
- Manage and coordinate county administration;
- Prepare legislation for consideration by the county assembly; and
- Prepare regular reports for the county assembly.
Devolution in Kenya
This is the county parliament where elected and nominated members debate issues concerning the management of the county. They pass budgets, vet governor’s nominees and pass Bills. The Assembly is constituted according to the provisions in section 177 (a), (b), (c) and (d)of the Constitution and Section 7(1) and (2) of the County Governments Act 2011.
The County Assembly has a speaker, majority leader and the minority leader. Every County Assembly has a life span of five years, as explained in section 177 (4)of the Constitution.
The Assembly consists of members elected by registered voters in the Wards, members allocated special seats, such as women nominees and members of marginalized groups, including persons with disabilities.
Map of Kenya Counties
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List of 47 Counties in Kenya
- 47 Counties in Kenya
- Baringo County
- Bomet County
- Bungoma County
- Busia County
- Elgeyo Marakwet County
- Embu County
- Garissa County
- Homa Bay County
- Isiolo County
- Kajiado County
- Kakamega County
- Kericho County
- Kiambu County
- Kilifi County
- Kirinyaga County
- Kisii County
- Kisumu County
- Kitui County
- Kwale County
- Laikipia County
- Lamu County
- Machakos County
- Makueni County
- Mandera County
- Meru County
- Migori County
- Marsabit County
- Mombasa County
- Muranga County
- Nairobi County
- Nakuru County
- Nandi County
- Narok County
- Nyamira County
- Nyandarua County
- Nyeri County
- Samburu County
- Siaya County
- Taita Taveta County
- Tana River County
- Tharaka Nithi County
- Trans Nzoia County
- Turkana County
- Uasin Gishu County
- Vihiga County
- Wajir County
- West Pokot County