Local Authorities Of Kenya
Local authorities in Kenya are the bodies controlling local governance in Kenya.
Kenya has four classes of local authorities: City, Municipality, Town and County council. Currently there are three authorities with city status: Nairobi, the national capital, Mombasa and Kisumu. A Municipalities and towns are other forms of urban authorities and are generally named after their central town. County councils are essentially rural. Each district has a maximum of one county council, such that they cover all area not taken up by urban authorities. County councils are usually named after their respective districts, which often bear the same name as the district capital. Thus county councils are often named after a major town, but their land area may cover the surroundings, not the town itself. Some districts have only one local authority, which are almost all county councils.
Local authorities usually differ from divisional and constituency boundaries used by the state administration.
Local authority administration consists of a mayor, town clerk and councillors. The number of councillors depend on population and area of each authority and they are elected by the public during the Kenya general elections held every five years or by-elections held in between. Authorities are divided into wards and each ward elects only one councillor. Wards have often common boundaries with administrative locations.
Compared to many other countries, local authorities in Kenya are weak and are shadowed by state run administration. However, during the international Africities summit held in Nairobi September 2006, the Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki promised to strengthen local authorities.
Kisumu and Mombasa, which currently have municipal councils have recently been granted city status, but they are yet to get their city charters.
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