By Ronald Ng’eno
The new members of the Commission– Benedict Muasya Mutiso, Wilfred Koitamet Olekina Nchoshoi, Hon. Fatuma Gedi Ali, Dr. George Jalang’o Midiwo, Hadija Nganyi Juma, Dr. Isabel Nyambura Waiyaki, Jonas Misto Vincent Kuko and Dr. Chris Kiptoo (PS, Treasury) – have taken office after being sworn in by the Chief Justice, Hon. Martha Koome on January 9, 2023. These members were appointed by H.E. President William Ruto in the Gazette Notice No. 15376 and are to serve for a period of six years – from January 2023 to December 2028. This new team takes over from the second group of commissioners who served from January 2017 – December 2022.
The Chief Justice Hon. Lady Martha Koome urged the new members of the Commission to keep in mind Kenya’s history of marginalisation as they take on the task of ensuring equitable sharing of national resources.
“In your hands now lies the protection and realisation of one of the most transformative features of the 2010 Constitution: devolved governance… You must therefore strive to work towards making our society a just state,” she said.
While welcoming the new members of the Commission during the swearing-in ceremony, the outgoing CRA Chairperson, Dr. Jane Kiringai, urged the new Commissioners to cultivate good stakeholder relationships with the National Treasury and two houses of Parliament to succeed in executing their mandate.
Balance the technical and political processes
“Sharing of revenue is a very technical but also a highly political process. You must strike a balance between the two. What matters most is how you will interact with the Senate and National Assembly. Ultimately, you will make very technical and solid recommendations but you have to convince them to adopt those recommendations,” she said.
Dr. Kiringai further encouraged the Commissioners to strategize and negotiate with the National Executive, Council of Governors, and other key stakeholders while maintaining the Commission’s objectivity and independence.
While swearing in the eight new Commissioners at the Supreme Court Offices, the CJ encouraged the new team to stick to their oath and never depart from the law in executing their mandate.
The term of the second group of commissioners – Humphrey Wattanga (Vice-Chairperson), Prof. Peter Kimuyu, Fouzia Abdikadir, Kishanto ole Suuji, Dr. Irene Asienga, Peter Gachuba and Dr. Julius Muia (former PS, The National Treasury) – ended on December 31, 2022. The term of the current Chairperson, Dr. Jane Kiringai, expires at the end of February 2023.