Nakuru County Civil Society organizations have weighed in on the ongoing Nakuru County Honors and Awards Bill 2019.
Under the umbrella Nakuru County Civil Society Organizations Forum(NACCSOF),the organizations have recommended that the composition of the County Honors Advisory Committee
be extended to cater for a broader representation of stakeholders and to promote accountability.
“The Advisory Committee as proponed in Part II of the Bill only consists of top county government representatives and leaves out other key representatives of non-state actors. As an accountability measure and in order to safeguard the mandate of the committee from political bias, the NACCSOF proposes that the membership be expounded to include representatives of non-state actors including the Civil Society, Private Sector Actors and other relevant stakeholders taking into consideration representation from marginalized groups including PWDs”they stated in their submission during public participation.
The NACCSOF proposals presented by Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance(CEDGG) CEO Cornelius Oduor, further state that the membership Advisory committee should clearly stipulate efforts to avert gender bias in line with the two thirds constitutional threshold.
The Nakuru CSOs noting that
although the Bill indulges participation of the CEC responsible for Culture in the advisory committee,there is no deliberate effort to indicate the relevant department where the Award and Honors shall be domiciled.
They argue that the Bill for instance does not indicate whether there will be a requirement for a Directorate of Awards and Honors or the relevant department where the Awards and Honors exercise shall be anchored.
NACCSOF points out this is key in ensuring that the awards and honors processes and procedures are catered for during County Budgeting and Planning Processes and shall be key in assignment of specific roles and responsibilities.
The CSOs also pointing out conflicting roles of the Advisory Committee and the Secretariat on the vetting role.
“The Bill does not clearly distinguish clear roles and the convergence between the Secretariat and the Advisory Committee on the vetting of nominees. According to the Bill, the membership of the secretariat has not been clearly stated. Further, there has is no attempt evident in the bill to ensure that there is independence in the role of the Advisory Committee in the vetting process” said Oduor.
NACCSOF therefore proposes a creation of a vetting committee explicitly outlined in the Bill to avoid duplication of roles and responsibilities and ensure that a level of autonomy is ensured by these actors exercising their duties.
On definition of a Hero and the requirements for qualification of persons for the awards and honors procedures NACCSOF noted that the Bill does not clearly define the attributes and requirements for persons eligible for nomination for the awards and honors.
“The qualities met for persons to attain hero standards and nomination for consideration are critical to ensure that favoritism, bias and conflicting interests are shunned when these persons are feted. In section 9 of the Bill, the provision ‘a manner that is inconsistent with the award.’ has not been explicitly covered to provide any qualification/disqualifications thereof. NACCSOF therefore proposes that these requirements be clearly stipulated in line with Chapter Six of CoK (Leadership and Integrity)” stated Oduor.
The proposal memorandum was signed on behalf of NACCSOF by Cornelius Oduor (Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG) and Bancy Kubutha(Centre for Transformational Leadership (CTL)
The Nakuru County Honors and Awards Bill 2019 is sponsored by Kabazi Ward MCA Dr.Peter Mbae who says it will help address the gaps that have been there in identifying heroes.