Understanding Kenya's Assumption of Office of Governor Act, 2019: A Comprehensive Guide

Kenya passed a legislation aimed at the procedures to be followed during the assumption of office in all the 47 counties. The act was assented on the 13th May, 2019 and commenced on the 31st May, 2019. This landmark legislation has had a significant impact on the governance landscape of Kenya, specifically concerning the induction and transition process for newly elected governors. In this article, we will delve into the key provisions and implications of this act, shedding light on its purpose, requirements, and its importance in ensuring a smooth and effective assumption of office by governors.

    Table of Contents
  • Establishment of a committee
  • Functions & Powers of The Committee
  • Sub-committees
  • County Governor's Swearing-In Ceremony

Establishment of a committee

Each of the 47 counties in Kenya is mandated to establish an Assumption of the Office of County Governor Committee. The committee shall be made up of:

  • the County Secretary who shall be the chairperson

  • the officer in charge of legal matters in the county;

  • the chief officer in the department responsible for matters relating to county public service;

  • the chief officer in the department responsible for matters relating to information and communication;

  • the chief officer in the department responsible for matters relating to finance;

  • the chief officer in the department responsible for matters relating to culture and social services;

  • a representative of the Ministry responsible for matters related to devolution;

  • the County Commissioner;

  • a representative of the National Intelligence Service at the county level;

  • a representative of the National Police Service at the county level;

  • the Clerk of the county assembly;

  • a representative of the Judiciary at the county level; and

  • two persons, one man and one woman nominated by the Governor-elect.

Functions & Powers of The Committee

The committee has specific functions set out in the act, these are to:

  • facilitate the handing over process by the outgoing Governor to the Governor-elect;

  • ensure and coordinate the provision of security services to the Governor-elect;

  • put in place the necessary facilities and deploy the necessary personnel for the Governor-elect upon assumption of office;

  • co-ordinate the briefings of the Governor-elect by the relevant county public officers including submission of the following information: an up to date assets register; an up to date register of liabilities; a complete list of all bank accounts and reconciled balances; a report of staff establishment per department; a comprehensive report on county entities or corporations and agencies; a report of all ongoing projects including donor funded projects; an up to date report on all pending legal cases; and county source of funding.

  • facilitate communication between the outgoing Governor and the Governor-elect;

  • prepare the programme and organise for the swearing-in ceremony;

  • prepare the oath and the certificate of inauguration; and

  • carry out any other activity necessary for the performance of its functions under this Act and perform any other function assigned to it under any other written law.

The committee is give all the powers under the act and any other written law to ensure is successfully execute its function.


The Assumption of Office of Governor Act, 2019 empowers the Committee to establish sub-committees to enhance the efficient execution of its functions. These sub-committees play a crucial role in supporting the Committee in its responsibilities as outlined in the Act. By delegating specific tasks and focusing on particular areas of expertise, the sub-committees contribute to the overall effectiveness and productivity of the Committee. Additionally, the Act allows the Committee to co-opt up to two individuals with specialized knowledge and skills into a sub-committee, further bolstering the capacity and expertise available to ensure the smooth functioning of the Committee. This provision emphasizes the importance of diverse perspectives and expertise in achieving the Act's objectives and reinforces the commitment to robust governance in the assumption of office process for governors.

County Governor's Swearing-In Ceremony

The Assumption of Office of Governor Act, 2019 lays out clear guidelines regarding the crucial aspect of the swearing-in ceremony for the County Governor-elect in Kenya. First and foremost, the Act mandates the Committee to publish a notice in both the Kenya Gazette and the county Gazette, specifying the precise date, time, and location of the ceremony. This public announcement ensures transparency and allows citizens and stakeholders to witness this significant event in the democratic process.

According to the Act, the County Governor-elect is required to take the oath of office on the first Thursday after the tenth day following the declaration of the final election results by the Commission. This provision sets a specific timeframe to ensure a timely transition of power and minimize any gaps in governance. By adhering to this timeline, the Act promotes continuity and stability in the governance of the county.

The Act further emphasizes the significance of the swearing-in ceremony by stipulating that it must be conducted in a public setting, presided over by a High Court Judge. This public ceremony underscores the transparency and accountability of the assumption of office process, allowing citizens to witness the formal commitment of the newly elected governor to their duties and responsibilities. The County Governor-elect shall, during the swearing-in ceremony, take and subscribe to the oath or affirmation. This shall be administered not earlier than 10:00 am and not later than 2:00 pm. Upon taking or subscribing to the oath or affirmation, the County Governor shall sign a certificate of inauguration in the presence of the High Court Judge who conducts the swearing in ceremony. Upon signing the certificate of inauguration, the outgoing County Governor shall handover to the County Governor elect the following county symbols as a sign of transfer of executive power and authority- the county flag; the county coat of arms; the Constitution; and the county public seal. The handover shall not apply if the outgoing governor is absent at the ceremony or the incumbent is re-elected into office. The County Governor shall, upon the swearing-in of the deputy county governor-elect, give an inauguration speech to the county.

By establishing clear guidelines and ensuring public involvement, the Assumption of Office of Governor Act, 2019 places a strong emphasis on the swearing-in ceremony, recognizing it as a pivotal moment in the democratic governance of Kenyan counties. It emphasizes the importance of transparency, timely transitions, and public accountability, thereby enhancing the legitimacy and effectiveness of the assumption of office by County Governors.