Comparative Issues In Local Government And Community Studies


Hausarbeit, 2019

53 Seiten


Leseprobe

Table of Contents

1. Concept of Local Government

2. Features of Local Government

3. Importance of Local Government

4. Modern State and Its Origin

5. Organs of State

6. Local Government and The Modern State

7. Devolution and Decentralization of Power

8. Local Government in an Inter Government Environment

9. System of Local Government in Nigeria

10. The Evolution of Local Government in the Former Eastern Nigeria

11. Evolution of Local Government in the Former Region

12. Northern Nigeria Native Authority

13. The Northern Nigeria Native Authority Law 1954

14. Evolution of Local Government in the Former Western Region

15. Local Government in Nigeria Under the Regional and State Government

16. The Dasuki Report and Local Government

17. Local Government Under Ibrahim Babangida Rigime

18. Local Government Autonomy in Nigeria

19. Issues in Local Government

20. Sources of Local Government

21. Local Government Services Commission

22. Functions of the Commission

23. Local Government and Rural Transformation

24. Types of Local Governments

25. Models of Local Government

References

1. Concept of Local Government

Local government, authority to determine and execute measures within a restricted area inside and smaller than a whole state. Some degree of local government characterizes every country in the world, although the degree is extremely significant. The variant, local self-government, is important for its emphasis upon the freedom of the locality to decide and act.

There is more than a technical importance in the difference between the two terms, because they are related to the distinction sometimes drawn between deconcentration and decentralization. Local government is often, but not necessarily, related to the former; local self-government to the latter. These distinctions are important, even if they are blurred. Deconcentration broadly means that, for the sake of convenience, some functions have been devolved from a central government to administration on the spot. Power is still administered through officials appointed by and responsible to the centre, and authority and discretion are vested in the centre. On the other hand, decentralization represents local government in areas where the authority to decide has been devolved to a council of locally elected persons acting on their own discretion with officials they themselves freely appoint and discipline.

The term local self-government has been traditionally used of local government in the United Kingdom and Germany. Thus, the Basic Law (the constitution of Germany) says, “Municipalities must be guaranteed the right to regulate all local affairs on their own responsibility, within the limits prescribed by the laws.” On the other hand, the amended constitution of the French Fifth Republic says, “In the conditions provided for by statute, these [local communities] shall be self-governing through elected councils and shall have power to make regulations for matters coming within their jurisdiction.” This expresses the spirit of deconcentration.

However tightly bound to the central office’s authority and regulations local officials may be, a degree of discretion is unavoidable. Often, again, the fairly pure organs of local self-government, such as the borough councils in the United Kingdom, are obliged to execute the purposes of the central government. Primarily units of local self-government, they are simultaneously units of local obligation acting as ordered by the central government for services such as education and policing. Thus, modern local government has a twofold aspect—it is a mixture of both deconcentration and decentralization, of central convenience and an acknowledgment that not all authority ought to be exerted by the centre. The mixture is revealed by the extent to which some of the powers exercised by local government units are exercised compulsorily and under fairly strict control by central authority with financial assistance, while others are not. This mixture produces the high complexity of modern local government. Further, local government is a departmentalization of the state’s work, based on the territorial distribution of services, as contrasted with (1) division into departments at the centre or (2) decentralization of functions to public corporations. In local government, territorial distribution of power is the essence.

The history of local government in Western Europe, Great Britain, the United States, and Russia exhibits the growing awareness of its significance. This awareness is a product of a development of parochial and town life which began long before the modern state emerged between the 15th and 17th centuries. Any central control over these and other areas was, until the 18th century, rather scanty. Notable exceptions were France under Jean-Baptiste Colbert or 17th-century Prussia, where local authorities were already overlaid by the heavy hand of the central intendants in the former and the war commissariat in the latter. Many Germanic states, such as the Hanse towns, were nothing but cities. In England and especially New England, the local units—parishes, towns, and cities—emerged from their origins as spontaneous self-governing units. This was also the case in Russia, although there the tsars took strict control of the cities through their provincial governors and over the mir—the village-cum-agricultural unit—through taxes, the police, and the boyars. The state colonized some cities from the beginning. The various local units were gradually integrated by the state, which exacted obligations from them regarding peace, crime and police duties, taxes, military supplies, assistance to the poor, and highways. By ordinances or statutes or judicial decisions, local units were subordinated, so that the idea of an inherent right to self-government was extinguished. By the 19th century all local units had become legal creatures of the state, subsidiary in authority and acting independently by sufferance alone. The local freedoms of the 19th century were challenged by (1) speed of communications, which reduced administrative time, (2) demands of a planned economy, (3) growth of nationwide political parties with social welfare programs uniform for all parts of the nation, (4) growth of a consciousness favouring a national minimum of services, (5) realization that the best technical administration of modern utilities requires areas knitted together by a central plan that differs from the traditional ones, and (6) needs of civil defense against air attack. These are powerful forces working against claims to purely self-regarding government. On the other hand, local freedom is supported by need for (1) intimate local knowledge and variation, (2) intensity of local interest and enlistment of loyalty and cooperation, (3) small areas or easy impact of the citizen-consumers upon officials-producers, (4) an accessible area of political education, (5) counterweight to the abuse of central power, and (6) the democratic value of a plurality of political experience and confidence. In all plans, decentralization, whether to a regional agency such as the Tennessee Valley Authority in the U.S. or to traditional units, is pressing, necessary, and fruitful.

2. Features of Local Government

The localization of the government is considered a unique phenomenon in Nigeria; despite the formation of the state government, local authorities have not lost their importance in the country.

Localization is necessary to ensure that government officials do not lose touch with people, and such management styles are extremely effective in democratic systems. In accordance with the constitution of 1999, local government in Nigeria is carried out on one level; power is divided in accordance with a single order.

One of the major features of Local Government Administration is decentralisation. This is one distinctive feature of Local Government that the central government does not have. It is one major platform through which local resources, initiatives and inputs are mobilised and transformed for national development. It is through this platform that local autonomy, management of their own affairs and transfer of power from central government to local authorities can be realized.

Main Features of Local Government

- Decentralisation
- Deconcentration
- Delegation
- Devolution
- Privatization

Decentralisation

The strategic position of the local government is more pronounced through the instrument of decentralisation. This is an important aspect of local government as a unit of government because it creates the enabling environment for democratization and development. The goals of decentralisation can be perceived as follows; local government provide for popular participation through the implementation of the democratic principle of elective representativeness in the public decision-making process; encourage local initiative and sacrifice and mobilise the human and financial resources that are available in the locality for development; ensure adequate provision for social services necessary for a decent life; and establish a functioning communication channel between the central authority and the local institutions with a view to ensuring the effectiveness of the central government’s actions. Decentralisation can also be discussed in four basic variances such as deconcentration, delegation, devolution and privatization.

Deconcentration

This is the transfer of administrative functions from central government or national ministries to field agencies within the local level. It involves the redistribution of executive responsibilities to sub-administrative structure. Here, the local or sub-ordinate levels of governments serve as agents of the central government. Deconcentration is a process of breaking down tasks and transferring it to the local levels for implementation. The feature here is that, the decision-making is at the central level, while the local government presents the platform for implementation, e.g. primary health care, universal primary education etc. Deconcentration can be regarded as a limited form of decentralisation and it lessens the burden of central government. For deconcentration to take place, provincial or local government is essential.

Delegation

The central government transfers some level of responsibilities for decision-making and implementation of specific functions to some other branch of government through this process. Under the delegation, these other branch of government and agencies are granted some level of autonomy or powers to formulate and implement programmes over specific functions without the direct control of the central government. Delegation also means conferring of specified authority to a lower authority. Legally, the delegated authority still belongs to the principal, but in practice, its exercise is allowed to the subordinate or lower authority. Delegation is full when complete powers are conferred on the agent or lower authority. Delegation is conditional when the action of a subordinate is subject to confirmation or revision by the superior; it is unconditional when the subordinate or lower authority is free to act without reservations. Delegation is formal when embodied in written form based on customs, conventions and understanding. Delegation is direct when no third person intervenes between the two parties to delegation; it is intermediate when it is made through third person. Delegation of authority means more than simply assigning duties to others in more or less detail. The essence of delegation is to confer discretion upon others to use their judgment in meeting specific problems within the framework of their duties. One cannot delegate the authority which himself does not possess. Authority once delegated can be enhanced, reduced or withdrawn according to the changing circumstances.

Devolution

This involves the transfer of functional responsibilities including decision-making authority to legally incorporated sub-national units of government. It entails therefore, the transfer of political authority to make decisions in some spheres of public policy from the central government to local government or similar units at the local level. The central and the local governments are structurally differentiated in the structural pattern of devolution. Each level has its own powers and separate institutions for performing its own functions and activities. Devolution is associated with local autonomy and with increase scope for popular participation in governmental activities. Under the devolution category, local governments are granted powers to source for their revenue, control their finances as well as recruit their own personnel. Devolution indicate status and policy making power. Devolution of power is also designed to create a political environment in which power to access political, economic and social resources is distributed between the central government and lower levels of government. State authority is divided among a wide range of actors, making politics less threatening and therefore encouraging joint problem solving. Devolution creates a fairer political ground, protects groups and individual human rights, establishes check and balances to central power and prevents political violence among rival groups.

Privatization

This is a new form of decentralisation. Under privatization, other players such as community groups, corporate organisations, voluntary associations, cooperatives, business association, civil society groups and other non-governmental organisations enter into Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to provide goods and services for the benefits of the local communities. PPP can also refer to contractual agreements formed between a public agency and private sector entity that allow for greater private sector participation in the delivery of essential goods and services. PPP relate or connote perfection and practices affecting public private sector relationships in ensuring national global health, development and well-being of the society.

Other Features of Local Government

There are other features of local government, which include structural differentiation, that is, it has a corporate identity and status different from other forms of government. It possesses the authority and institutional powers for which it has been created. The local government also has multi-functional powers, which include the power to legislate, formulate and implement policies for the benefits of its people. The local government also has defined territorial boundaries, just like other tiers of government, it has jurisdiction over people inhabiting its geographical territories, and finally, its elected or appointed officers or representatives have specified tenure of office.

3. Importance of Local Government

The local government is very important notion for the contemporary society for the sustainable development of entire nation because of the following peculiarities of the local government.

- Has the local authority. Management or governance of a certain locality is made by a body composed of persons directly elected by the people of that area. This representative body is responsible for the administration of local affairs in that area. 
- Provides public services for residents of the area within its jurisdiction, which is the main goal of this government.
- Local finances. In order to provide services and perform functions effectively, it is imperative that the local unit has its own finances. Because the services it provides to citizens should be financially covered. These finances can be obtained from local taxes but also from state subsidies.
- Local autonomy. This means that the local government has the right to establish and operate in the activities and functions that are recognized by law. It also includes the legal right of local residents to choose their representatives that will govern the territory under the set laws. It should be noted that autonomy does not mean sovereignty over these bodies, as belonging and legally depending on state structures.
- Local Participation. The success or failure of the development plans of the territory it relates to how much active participation of the local people is there. Through this government it is sought greater participation of people who are given the opportunity to participate in the decision making process. It’s a condition that, if a goal to be achieved, then the participation of the public should be necessarily.
- Local Leadership. Usually people who deal with local governments, especially in rural areas, are characterized by a lack of experience, professionalism. Therefore, they should be provided with leadership-management skills in order to develop various projects initiated.
- Local accountability. This means that local representatives of the people are elected by them to meet the ultimate goal that is to provide services in the most effective manner possible. If this is not achieved, then the vote of the people makes them to not be re-elected at the next election.
- Local development. This is very important feature, because the primary goal is the development of local government within the area which exercises jurisdiction.

The importance of this government is primarily in support of democracy. As if democracy is to function properly, then it is necessary the participation of as many citizens in the decision making process. Progress achieved on the basis of these methods is more solid and democratic than that achieved over the communist totalitarian methods. Secondly, the local government can create future leaders. This means that local government is a training period and effective enough to gain experience and knowledge on the art of government policy-making and governance transition to nationwide. This has happened in our country, where yesterday’s mayors have used their position as a springboard to move to the party leadership or central governments. This underlines once again that the best school of democracy and the best guarantee for success is the practice in local government.

Thirdly, its importance lies in the fact that manages much better and more efficiently the local affairs as it is closer to the needs of citizens. Finally, its importance lies in the fact that it serves as a communication tool and an intermediary between the central government and the people or community. Thus requirements of citizens are transmitted to the central government by local government bodies and on the other hand the central government policies are made known to the public through local government organs. This two-way relationship makes possible a close relationship between people and high levels of government.

More specifically the importance of local government is as follows:

- To Promote the Democracy
- For the development
- For effective service Delivery
- To empowerment
- To promote the people’s participation
- To make the policy decisions
- To make the institutionalization of inclusiveness
- For the dispute resolution
- Effective utilization of resources
- To create the feelings for door step government
- To perform the role of Central government
- For sustainable Development

To Promote the Democracy
- For the development
- For effective service Delivery
- To empowerment
- To promote the people’s participation
- To make the policy decisions
- To make the institutionalization of inclusiveness
- For the dispute resolution
- Effective utilization of resources
- To create the feelings for door step government
- To perform the role of Central government
- For sustainable Development
- Makes the bridge between central government and people

To Promote the Democracy

- For the development
- For effective service Delivery
- To empowerment
- To promote the people’s participation
- To make the policy decisions
- To make the institutionalization of inclusiveness
- For the dispute resolution
- Effective utilization of resources
- To create the feelings for door step government
- To perform the role of Central government
- For sustainable Development
- Makes the bridge between central government and people

To Promote the Democracy

- For the development
- For effective service Delivery
- To empowerment
- To promote the people’s participation
- To make the policy decisions
- To make the institutionalization of inclusiveness
- For the dispute resolution
- Effective utilization of resources
- To create the feelings for door step government
- To perform the role of Central government
- For sustainable Development
- Makes the bridge between central government and people
- To Promote the Democracy
- For the development
- For effective service Delivery
- To empowerment
- To promote the people’s participation
- To make the policy decisions
- To make the institutionalization of inclusiveness
- For the dispute resolution
- Effective utilization of resources
- To create the feelings for door step government
- To perform the role of Central government
- For sustainable Development
- Makes the bridge between central government and people

4. Modern State and Its Origin

The origin of Nigeria’s local government system can be traced to the Native Authority Ordinance of 1916, which was passed by the British colonial government ostensibly to leverage the existing traditional administrative systems in the different regions of the area now known as Nigeria. The ordinance was the first legal framework to operationalise a system of indirect rule. However, this attempt to unify the system of local government met informed resistance from the East and West regions, both because of its anti-democratic thrust and because the system did not fit well with the existing traditional administrative systems in those regions. Nonetheless, the ordinance endured until 1946, when the Richard constitution introduced the new regional assemblies. By 1949, the Eastern house of assembly provided a platform for debates that eventually led to the Local Government Ordinance of 1950, which set the scene for a democratic system of local government.

Local government system in Nigeria has undergone series of metamorphosis. The system has been restructured and reorganized depending on the regime in power either military or civilian administration. These changes have caused local government to pass through series of uncertainties and with peculiar characteristics which are discussed under various headings as follows: Nigeria Local Government Administration System During Pre-Colonial Era Prior to amalgamation, the pre-colonial societies in Nigeria were made up of empires, a caliphate, kingdoms, chiefdoms, city states and villages with ruler that exercise absolute authority over them as in the case of empire or kingdom in the northern region, the Oba in the West, whose power can be checkmated by constituted authority and the Igbo society in the East with its republic and egalitarian status (Adeyemi, 2018:41). Local administration in Nigeria predated colonial rule as each of the separate entity that make up the nation had a unique but relatively effective system (Alao, et al, 2015). It had been part of a kind systems of government especially at the grassroots level among ethnic groups in Nigeria, particularly among the Yoruba and Fulani. An examination of the three main geographical zones in Nigeria clearly reveals that by the early sixteenth century, the Hausa emirates had developed a well-organised fiscal system, a definite code of land tenure, a regular scheme of local rule through appointed district and village heads, as well as a trained judiciary which administer the Islamic laws (Ola and Tonwe, 2009:69). In Western part of Nigeria, local rule had also developed around the local rulers (i.e. the Kings or Obas) where they had existed. Though the fiscal system was less rigorously organised as it was characterised by check and balances, there was a definite code of land tenure based on the local ruler who administered it at the will of the lesser chiefs and the general people. There also existed a clear scheme of local rule through the lesser local ruler, his chief and their appointed aides. In this case, the judiciary was not distinct from the executive as in the Hausa states. The basis of justice in the West was also different. It was not the Islamic law. It was based on three major factors.

(1) Oral traditions;
(2) Rule of precedence; and
(3) Native Philosophy (Ola and Tonwe, 2009).

The patterns of local rule in the -Eastern part of Nigeria, particularly in the Igbo communities were different from the North and the West. The communities in that part of the country largely were acephalous or stateless societies which had no system of kinship or political headship where authority and power emanated from. The Igbo had no king. Most of the communities were not or less hierarchically structured. Local administration system of governance was carried out by decisions of the age groups, village square meetings and input from individual within community. The Igbo system was democratic than any other system in the pre-colonial Nigeria based on its egalitarian principle. Therefore, local government administration system has always been an integral part and feature of various communities before the introduction of colonial rule in Nigeria

Nigerian Local Government Administration System Under Colonial Rule (1900-1950)

Under colonial administration, local government was known as Native Administration or Indirect rule system. It was meant to govern the people through the native chief. The idea was to preserve and use the authority of the local rulers, local institutions, traditions and habits rather than attempt to impose totally new unfamiliar ideas from outside. Local development would, thus come about through the delegation of authority to chiefs and through a gradual participation of the citizen (Ola and Tonwe, 2009). Contrary to this view, the use of native traditional rulers by colonialist was not meant to preserve the culture and custom of the natives. Rather, it was meant for the British’s economies and administrative convenience advantage to save huge personnel costs that might have arisen by employing British officials to govern these local societies. It must be noted that, right from inception, the structure of local government in Nigeria was basically designed to serve colonial interests and facilitate the exploitation of the Nigerian people and resources.

Indirect rule, in other words, was to be based essentially on the chief; the local ruler. The localization policy was to ensure his firm grip on his local administration, whilst local standards were to be adopted, presumably in the interest of peace. They were to maintain law and order, prevent crimes and apprehend criminals. Law and order were extremely important to British administration as this was crucial to promoting commerce (Ola and Tonwe, 2009).

The local administration comprises of four main features, which are:

(1) The British Resident Officer, who direct and control;
(2) The Native Authority usually headed by a Chief and often supported by a council of elder;
(3) The Native Treasury and
(4) The Native Court composed of representatives of the Native Administration.

The system, was however, generally built on strong chief. The strength of the chiefs varied, from the very strong autocratic ruler of Hausa emirates to the semi democratic chiefs of South-West and to the acephalous and highly decentralised and egalitarian societies of the South-East. On the whole, three types of native authorities could be distinguished during indirect rule era: The Chief; the Chief- in –Council and the Chief and Council.

1. The Chief: Here the Chief was a sole authority, he had all powers and all authority emanated from him. He made all appointments and was responsible to the Resident of the province and to the colonial administration for all local administrative affairs. Many of the Hausa/Fulani emirates fell under this form of local administration in this era.
2. The Chief – in – Council: The Chief in this type of local administration was at liberty to accept or reject the advice of his council. What really differentiated this from the sole authority type of local administration was the existence of the council of chiefs where matters concerning the communities are decided.
3. The Chief and Council: in this case, the Chief had a council of advisers who shared with him the power of decision-making authority. In other word, the council with him were involved in the making of appointments, land, disbursement, expenditures and various priority areas.

This type of limited or Constitutional Chief was the more common with the more liberal Chiefs of the Yoruba Kingdom of the South-West at this time.

However, as Omorogiuwa (No Date: 113) argued, by 1930, colonial native administration through indirect rule since 1890 was already cracking. This resulted from the attendant local problems as well as international responses. With the growing pressure of nationalism and international support for de-colonization and democratization, native administration had to give way for change.

Local Government Under Military Rule (1966-1976)

One of the features of the arrival of modern local government was that the functions of local governments in the country were wide ranging, comprising both developmental and non-developmental functions. These functions were so comprehensive that almost every function being performed at regional level had its parallel at local level (Ola and Tonwe, 2009:93). Different types of local government administrative systems were operated in the different states of the country following the 1966 military coup and civil war.

As a result of military intervention in politics, the policy direction at the local level was not that of enlarging the coast of political participation but administrative restructuring and consolidation. The military Governor took a bold step in this direction by appointing Divisional Officers as Sole Administrators. Essentially, this policy drive returned Nigeria to era of full centralisation as the military command is unitary and pyramidal (Adeola, 2009). With the creation of 12 states in 1967 and further administrative realignment, the local councils lost virtually all competent hands to the states which are better positioned to offer good conditions of service (Adeola, 2009).

The Eastern part of Nigeria was at this time the battle ground and so local administration was totally in disarray not to talk of any meaningful development or growth. In the Northern part, as far as 1950, the Northern People Congress (NPC) government headed by Sir Ahmadu Bello had desired the reform, if not complete abolition of Native Authorities. During the same period, NPC also called for abolition of House of Chief in the North and its replacement by an advisory council of Chief. So, the Mid-West and the Western part remained the theatre for local administration dramatic spectacles (Olasupo, 2001:18).

Local Government in Nigeria Since 1999- Till Date

As part of the transition programme from military regime to elected civilian government, local government elections were conducted in 1999 across the country for a three-year term. At the expiration of the tenure of Local Governments in 2002, it was expected that election would be conducted immediately, more so as the country was in a democratic dispensation. Unfortunately, it was not so. While the consistent attempts by state governments to weaken local governments in the country is not yet new, the complacency of the federal government and the possible complicity in the delay of Local Government election is disturbing.

The state government all over the country are not interested in conducting election in the Local Councils across the country because the non-conduct of election gave them the absolute control over Local Government machinery in their respective states. It is sad that the state government have failed to appreciate the fact that Local Government is fundamentally an integral part of democracy. They have undermined Section 7(1) of 1999 constitution which guarantees democratically elected Local Government council across the country, only few states had witness election since 1999 till date. The diagram below shows states where election has been conducted from 1999 to 2019.

5. Organs of State

A Constitution establishes the regulatory framework for political activity and the governance process in a country. One of the things it does it to establish organs of government, define their functions and specify their powers for the discharge of these functions.

Experience from all over the world, and from time immemorial has taught that three particular organs of government are the most basic. These are: the Executive; (b) the Legislature; and (c) the Judiciary. These organs correspond to the vital and most basic governance functions, namely (and respectively), (i) the conduct of policy and administration; (ii) the making or repealing or amendment of the governing laws; and (iii) the adjudication of conflicts that arise while the laws of the land are being implemented through executive and administrative decision-making or action.

Although all Constitutions will provide for the three organs, their functions and powers, the Constitutions of different countries thereafter take different approaches, as some may go further and provide for additional governance -related organs. For example, the Ugandan Constitution provides for a further constitutional organ, known as the Inspector-General of Government, as does that of Tanzania , which provides for the Permanent Commission of Inquiry - both being nomenclature describing the Ombudsman institution.

The current Constitution limits itself to the three basic organs of government. In this paper we consider the broad outlines of these organs of government.

2. he Executive Organ

The Executive under the Kenya Constitution started off with a dual character, under the Independence Constitution in 1963. The day-to-day operation of government was conducted under the direction of a Prime Minister, who was the leader in Parliament of the political party with the largest number of seats in the house. The more occasional, symbolic and constitutional acts of government, such as formally naming the Prime Minister, proroguing or dissolving Parliament, were conducted by the Governor-General, representing the Queen of England, who operated in the capacity of Head of State.

The Executive organ was a diverse entity with a clear scope for checks-and- balances. This feature, however, was taken away with the inauguration of Republican status on December 12, 1964. The advent of the Presidency severed the political link between Kenya and Her Majesty the Queen's Government in the United Kingdom. Henceforth, the Executive of the Kenyan State consisted solely in the President, who was his own Prime Minister while in his other capacity, he was the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. An unqualified monolithic structure was thus installed upon the constitutional system.

If this monolithicism was at first essentially instrumental, it was to be confirmed in place, firstly by the changed politics that brought the single party system, and then by a series of amendments that enhanced and consolidated the executive powers of the President and gave him the upper hand in his interplays with the Legislature. In the few years following the establishment of Republican status, all the main elements of diversity in the constitutional system, such as the semi-federalist structure and the bicameral Parliamentary system, were removed and the outstanding and greatly empowered profile of the President, became the main landmark of the constitutional order.

Those who have paid keen attention to the more recent political changes in Kenya will readily recognize that, it is precisely the monolithicism of the immediate post-independence years that prompted the public to initiate clamours for change, leading to the re-introduction of the multi-party system and a re-dedication to the principle of pluralism.

Against this experience, it may now be regarded as a basically valid proposition that the people of Kenya are likely to support enlargement of the number of participating agencies in the stall of the Executive.

However, the present Constitution of Kenya retains the limited - scope Executive; and this will necessarily be a subject in respect of which the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission should receive the opinions of the members of the public.

Issues pertaining to the ideal characteristics of the Executive must also address its interplays with Parliament. The term Parliament means all the elected and nominated members of Parliament, taken together with the President as Head of State; for it is only this whole institutional chain that can make and compete the law-making process. But the person who is President, by virtue of being an ordinary Member of the National Assembly as well as the Head of Government, also belongs to the National Assembly qua member and qua Head of a government (in effect, a Prime Minister) who is accountable on the floor of the National Assembly. The effect is that Kenya has a Presidency that is inseparably fused with the National Assembly. This is a classic example of the absence of separation of powers.

The Executive's intimate fusion with the National Assembly may be said to be normal in a parliamentary tradition of government. However, there is the significant difference that the President has, besides, been directly elected by the people, and often feels himself more accountable to the people (at election time, once in five years) more than to anyone else. This produces a duplicity in lines of responsibility, and considerably weakens the National Assembly's scope for exercising control over executive powers. It is desirable that this duplicity be removed, in a quest for governmental accountability, transparency and constitutionalism. The Commission needs to address this question and if need be, make appropriate consultations with the people.

The Legislature

In the rapid constitutional amendment process of the 1960s, the preoccupation with the enhancement of the power of the Executive not only achieved that goal, but also entailed the reduction in the size and strength of the legislative body. Under the Independence Constitution there had existed a House of Representatives and a Senate, the latter forming part of the package of institutions attached to the semi-federal constitution. Now the Executive in the first place did not allow funds to be disbursed for the running of the semi-federal (Regional) agencies; and then the Executive secured the abolition of semi-federalism through a constitutional amendment. Soon thereafter the Senate was itself abolished, again through a constitutional amendment. No check-and-balance institution was left to limit the free reign of the Executive, which became still more powerful, in particular, owing to the removal of 1969 of the political context of pluralism, by abolishing the Opposition Kenya People's Union. Kenya thereafter remained a one-party State {defacto, 1969-1982; dejure/ 1982-1992). This condition greatly weakened the strength of the National Assembly which now, in the totality of its membership, had always to take the line of the single party, KANU and, therefore, had no capacity to assert any real control on the Executive.

[...]

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Details

Titel
Comparative Issues In Local Government And Community Studies
Autor
Jahr
2019
Seiten
53
Katalognummer
V1154628
ISBN (eBook)
9783346550545
ISBN (Buch)
9783346550552
Sprache
Deutsch
Schlagworte
comparative, issues, local, government, community, studies
Arbeit zitieren
Abdulganiyu Salim (Autor:in), 2019, Comparative Issues In Local Government And Community Studies, München, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1154628

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