A GUIDE TO PETITIONS
What is a petition?
- A petition is a written prayer to the County Assembly by a member of the public requesting the County Assembly to consider any matter within its authority.
What laws govern the presentation of petitions?
Article 37 of the Constitution of Kenya- Every person has the right, peaceably and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket, and to present petitions to public authorities.
- Section 15 of the County Government Act- any person has a right to petition the county assembly to consider any matter within its authority, including enacting, amending or repealing any of its legislation.
- Petition to the County Assembly of Nyeri (Procedure) Act, 2014
- The County Assembly Standing Orders (Standing order 194- 204)
Who can submit a petition?
Any resident of Nyeri County above the age of 18 years can submit a petition to the County Assembly of Nyeri. A person who files a petition is called a ‘petitioner’.
How is a petition submitted?
1. By the petitioner directly submitting a written petition to the Clerk of the County Assembly.
2. By a petitioner submitting a written petition through a member of the County Assembly on behalf of the petitioner.
What is contained in a petition?
A petition must be in the following manner:-
• It must be either handwritten, printed or typed;
• It must be in English or Kiswahili and be written in respectful language;
• It must not have any alterations made in the text of the petition;
• The title of the petition must be indicated on every page;
• It must be addressed to the Clerk of the County Assembly of Nyeri
• It must indicate whether the petitioner has tried to have the matter resolved through any other means;
• it must indicate whether the issues in respect of which the petition is made arepending before any court of law or other constitutional or legal body;
• It must have a clear, proper and respectful prayer/request which the petitioner desires;
• It must contain the names, addresses, identification numbers, signatures or thumb impressions of the petitioners;
• Letters, affidavits or any other documents should not be attached to the petition;
• If a petition is presented by a member of the County Assembly, it must be signed by both the member and the petitioner;
• Where the petitioner is unable to sign, the petition may be signed by a witness and marked by the petitioner;
Other than drafting the petition in its proper form, what else should the petitioner consider?
The petitioner should also consider whether the subject- matter of the petition is within the authority of County Governments. Schedule 4, part 2 of the Constitution provides for the functions and powers of County Governments as follows:-
- Agriculture, including— crop and animal husbandry, livestock sale yards, county abattoirs, plant and animal disease control; and fisheries.
- County health services, including, in particular— county health facilities and pharmacies; ambulance services; promotion of primary health care; licensing and control of undertakings that sell food to the public; veterinary services (excluding regulation of the profession); cemeteries, funeral homes and crematoria; and refuse removal, refuse dumps and solid waste disposal.
- Control of air pollution, noise pollution, other public nuisances and outdoor
- Cultural activities, public entertainment and public amenities, including— betting, casinos and other forms of gambling; racing; liquor licensing; cinemas; video shows and hiring;libraries; museums; sports and cultural activities and facilities; and county parks, beaches and recreation facilities.
- County transport, including—county roads; street lighting; traffic and parking;public road transport; and ferries and harbours, excluding the regulation of international and national shipping and matters related thereto.
- Animal control and welfare, including— licensing of dogs; and facilities for the accommodation, care and burial of animals.
- Trade development and regulation, including— markets; trade licences (excluding regulation of professions); fair trading practices; local tourism; and cooperative societies.
- County planning and development, including— statistics; land survey and mapping; boundaries and fencing; housing; and electricity and gas reticulation and energy regulation.
- Pre-primary education, village polytechnics, homecraftcentres and childcare facilities.
- Implementation of specific national government policies on natural resources and environmental conservation, including— soil and water conservation; and forestry.
- County public works and services, including— storm water management systems in built-up areas; and water and sanitation services.
- Firefighting services and disaster management.
- Control of drugs and pornography.
- Ensuring and coordinating the participation of communities and locations in governance at the local level and assisting communities and locations to develop the administrative capacity for the effective exercise of the functions and powers and participation in governance at the local level.
Drafting a petition sounds so complicated. Where can I seek assistance in drafting my petition?
The County Assembly of Nyeri has a legal office where members of the public can be assisted in drafting their petitions at no cost.
What happens once a petition is submitted to the County Assembly?
The Clerk of the County Assembly receives the petition and reviews it within 7 days. The review is done to ascertain whether the petition is in the correct form.
If the petition is not in the correct form, the clerk of the County Assembly writes to the petitioner informing him of the corrections which should be mad before the petition is submitted again.
If the petition is in the correct form, the Clerk of the County Assembly forwards it to the Speaker of the County Assembly for tabling in the Assembly.
What happens after tabling?
The petition is committed to the relevant sectoral committee of the County Assembly. Within 60 days of the committal, the committee is expected to respond to the petition by way of a report addressed to the petitioners and tabled in the County Assembly.
The Clerk of the County Assembly notifies the petitioners in writing of the decision of the Assembly on the petition within fifteen days.