The procedure to petition a County Assembly in Kenya is stipulated in the Petition to County Assemblies (Procedure) Act. The Act gives effect to Article 37 of the Constitution on the right to petition a county assembly.
A member of the public, public entity or private entity may write a petition to the County Assembly requesting the County Assembly to consider any matter within its authority, including enacting, amending or repealing any legislation.
A petition to a county assembly should be in the form set out in the Schedule of the Petition to County Assemblies (Procedure) Act and should—
- be handwritten, printed or typed;
- be in English or Kiswahili;
- be written in respectful, decorous and temperate language;
- be free of alterations and interlineations in its text;
- be addressed to the county assembly;
- have its subject matter indicated on every sheet if it consists of more than one sheet;
- indicate whether any efforts have been made to have the matter addressed by a relevant body and whether there has been any response from that body or whether the response has been unsatisfactory;
- indicate whether the issue in respect of which the petition is made is pending before any court of law or other constitutional or legal body;
- conclude with a clear, proper and respectful prayer, reciting the definite object of the petitioner or petitioners concerning the matter to which it relates;
- contain the names, addresses, identification numbers and signature or a thumb impression of the petitioner or of every petitioner, where there is more than one petitioner;
- contain only signatures or thumb impressions, as the case may be, and addresses and identification numbers written directly onto the petition and not pasted thereon or otherwise transferred to it;
- not have any letters, affidavits or other documents annexed to it;
- in the case of a petition presented by a member of a county assembly on behalf of a petitioner, be countersigned by the member presenting it; and
- be signed by the petitioner, or if the petitioner is unable to sign, by a witness in whose presence the petitioner should make their mark on the petition.
The procedure for presenting a petition to the county assembly should be as follows.
A petition to a county assembly should be —
- submitted to the respective Clerk of the County Assembly by the petitioner; or
- presented by a member of the county assembly on behalf of a petitioner, with the consent of the Speaker of the County Assembly.
A member of a county assembly is not eligible to present a petition on their behalf.
The Clerk should, within seven days of the date of receipt of the petition, review the petition to ascertain whether the petition meets the requirements in the form of a petition to the County Assembly.
Where the Clerk considers that a petition does not meet the requirements, the Clerk may give such directions as are necessary to ensure that the petition is amended to comply with the requirements.
A petition should not be rejected merely because it is not addressed to the Clerk of a county assembly.
The Clerk should forward the petition to the Speaker of the County Assembly for reporting in the County Assembly if satisfied that the petition meets the requirements specified under the Petition to County Assemblies (Procedure) Act.
A petition that is reported in a County Assembly under the Petition to County Assemblies (Procedure) Act should be considered following the Standing Orders of the County Assembly.
The relevant County Assembly committee may, when considering the petition—
- invite the petitioner to clarify or submit such further information as the committee may consider necessary; and
- make a site visit if it is deemed necessary to do so.
The relevant county assembly committee should respond to the petitioner by way of a report addressed to the petitioner and tabled in the county assembly and no debate on or concerning the report should be allowed except on the recommendation of the chairperson of the committee and with the approval of the speaker.
The Clerk should, in writing, notify the petitioner of the decision of the County Assembly within fourteen days of the decision of the relevant committee or the Assembly.
The Clerk should keep and maintain a register with a record of all petitions and supporting documents, and the decisions of the County Assembly on the petitions. The register of petitions should be accessible to the public during working hours.
For more about the procedure to present a petition to the County Assembly, including a sample of the petition form, see the (Schedule of the) Petition to County Assemblies (Procedure) Act.