Point in Time
Act No: No. 13 of 2011
Act Title: URBAN AREAS AND CITIES
[ Date of commencement: See section 1. ]
[ Date of assent: 27th August, 2011. ]
Arrangement of Sections
PART I – PRELIMINARY
1.
Short title and commencement
(1)

This Act may be cited as the Urban Areas and Cities Act, 2011.

(2)

Subject to subsection (3), this Act shall come into operation after the first elections held under the Constitution.

(3)

Part VIII of this Act shall come into operation on the repeal of the Local Government Act (Cap. 265).

PART II – CLASSIFICATION AND ESTABLISHMENT OF URBAN AREAS AND CITIES
4.
General classification of urban areas and cities

An area may be classified as an urban area or city if it satisfies the criteria set out under this Act or any other written law.

6.
Management and infrastructure in the capital city
(1)

The capital city of Kenya is Nairobi.

(2)

The capital city shall be governed and managed in the same manner as a county government.

(3)

The capital city shall provide infrastructure necessary to sustain the following—

(a)

the seat of the national government;

(b)

offices of diplomatic missions;

(c)

efficient transport network connecting to rural areas, towns and other local, regional and international cities; and

(d)

commerce and industry.

(4)

The capital city shall decentralise its functions and the provisions of its services to the extent that it is efficient and practicable to do so.

(5)

Subject to subsection (2), the two levels of government shall enter into an agreement regarding the performance of functions and delivery of services by the capital city.

(6)

An agreement entered into under subsection (5) may provide for—

(a)

the administrative structure of the capital city, subject to the provisions of this Act;

(b)

funding of operations and activities of the capital city;

(c)

the joint projects to be undertaken by both governments in the capital city;

(d)

dispute resolution mechanisms; and

(e)

such other information as the two levels of government may determine.

7.
Conferment of city status

The President may, on the resolution of the Senate, confer the status of a city on a municipality that meets the criteria set out in section 5, by grant of a charter in the prescribed form.

PART III – GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT OF URBAN AREAS AND CITIES
11.
Principles of governance and management

The governance and management of urban areas and cities shall be based on the following principles—

(a)

recognition and respect for the constitutional status of county governments;

(b)

recognition of the principal and agency relationship between the boards of urban areas and cities and their respective county governments including—

(i) the carrying out by a board of such functions as may be delegated by the county government;
(ii) financial accountability to the county government; and
(iii) the governance by each board for and on behalf of the county government;
(c)

promotion of accountability to the county government and residents of the urban area or city;

(d)

institutionalised active participation by its residents in the management of the urban area and city affairs;

(e)

efficient and effective service delivery; and

(f)

clear assignment of functions.

15.
Term of office

A member of a board shall hold office for a term of five years, on a part-time basis.

16.
Vacation of office

A member of a board shall cease to hold office if the member—

(a)

is unable to perform the functions of the office by reason of mental or physical infirmity;

(b)

is declared or becomes bankrupt or insolvent;

(c)

is convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of six months or more;

(d)

resigns in writing to the county governor;

(e)

without reasonable cause, the member is absent from three consecutive meetings of the board or committee within one financial year;

(f)

is found guilty of professional misconduct by the relevant professional body;

(g)

is disqualified from holding a public office under the Constitution;

(h)

is convicted of an offence and is sentenced to imprisonment for a term of six months or more;

(i)

in any particular case, the member fails to declare his or her interest in any matter being considered or to be considered by the board or committee;

(j)

engages in any gross misconduct; or

(k)

dies.

17.
Chairperson and vice-chairperson of the Board
(1)

Subject to subsection (2), there shall be a chairperson and vice-chairperson for each board.

(2)

The chairperson and the vice chairperson shall be elected by the members of the board from among themselves during the first meeting of the board, and subsequently whenever a vacancy arises and shall be of opposite gender.

(3)

The chairperson and vice chairperson shall hold office for a term of five years.

(4)

The chairperson shall—

(a)

except in the case of a city county, be the head of the board;

(b)

chair meetings of the board;

(c)

perform such duties as may be delegated by the board.

(5)

The vice chairperson shall, in the absence of the chairperson, perform the functions of chairperson and shall perform such other functions as may be delegated by the chairperson or the board.

18.
Removal from office
(1)

A person may be removed from the office of chairperson, vice chairperson or a member of the board on any of the grounds provided under section 16(a), (b), (c), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i) and (j).

(2)

A person may be removed under subsection (1)—

(a)

by the county governor;

(b)

by the board, supported by the vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the board; or

(c)

upon petition by the residents of a city or municipality.

(3)

A resident of a city or municipality may file a writing petition with a board for the removal of a chairperson or vice chairperson.

(4)

The procedure for the removal or petition for removal of a chairperson or vice chairperson under subsections (1) and (2) shall be provided by regulations.

19.
Filling of vacancy

A vacancy in the office of a chairperson, vice chairperson or a member of the board shall, with necessary modification, be filled in accordance with section 13 or 17 of this Act as the case may be.

23.
Ordinary and special meetings of a board
(1)

A board shall hold its sittings to transact the business of the board once every three months.

(2)

Notwithstanding subsection (1), the chairperson may, and upon request in writing by at least one-third of the members of the board shall, convene a special meeting to transaction any urgent business of the board.

24.
Management of information and publicity
(1)

A board shall publish and publicise important information within its mandate affecting the city or urban area.

(2)

A request for information in the public interest by a citizen—

(a)

shall be addressed to the manager or administrator or such other person as the board or committee may for that purpose designate, and may be subject to the payment of a reasonable fee in instances where the board or committee incurs an expense in providing the information; and

(b)

may be subject to confidentiality requirements of the board.

(3)

Subject to Article 35 of the Constitution, the board or committee may decline to give information to an applicant where—

(a)

the request is unreasonable in the circumstances;

(b)

the information requested is at a deliberative stage by the board or committee;

(c)

the applicant fails to pay the prescribed fee; or

(d)

the applicant fails to satisfy any confidentiality requirements by the board or committee.

(4)

The right of access to information under Article 35 of the Constitution shall be regulated in accordance with the nature and extent specified under this section.

(5)

Every member and employee of the board or committee shall sign a confidentiality agreement.

(6)

The board or committee shall, in such manner as it considers appropriate, publish a notice for public information specifying—

(a)

the location of all its offices; and

(b)

its address or addresses, telephone numbers and other means of communication or contact with the board or committee.

25.
Remuneration of members of a board

The chairperson, vice chairperson and members of a board or town committee shall not receive a salary from the board or town committee but shall be paid such allowances and benefits as the county executive committee shall, with the approval of the county assembly, and on the advice of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, determine.

26.
Committees of a board

A board may—

(a)

establish such committees for any general or special purpose which, in its opinion, would regulate or manage its affairs more efficiently and as may be necessary for the performance of its functions under this Act;

(b)

delegate to such committee such functions as are necessary for the efficient performance of its duties in respect to the whole or any part of the area under the jurisdiction of a board; and

(c)

include persons who are not members of the board in any committee.

28.
City or municipal manager

There shall be a city or municipal manager for every city or municipality established under this Act, who shall implement the decisions and functions of the board and shall be answerable to the board.

PART IV – DELIVERY OF SERVICES
32.
Service delivery by a board
(1)

Subject to Article 187 (2)(a) of the Constitution, a board shall, on behalf of the county government, deliver such services as may be specified under this Act or any other national or county legislation.

(2)

Subject to Article 176(2) of the Constitution, a city or municipal board may, if it considers it necessary, establish operational sectors and service delivery entities, with the approval of the county executive committee, for the efficient carrying out of its functions and the delivery of the services within its area of jurisdiction.

(3)

Subject to the provisions of this section, a county assembly may legislate on the set up and establishment of service delivery entities.

33.
Partnership and joint ventures
(1)

A board may, in consultation with the county governor and with the approval of the county assembly, enter into partnership with a utility company either within or outside the county or internationally for the provision of social infrastructural services.

(2)

For efficient service delivery, cities and municipalities may jointly provide cross-city and cross-municipality services and may, in that regard jointly finance the services.

(3)

A board may, where it is of the opinion that a private sector entity is best able to provide a service, and with the approval of the county assembly, contract a private entity for purposes of delivering the services within its area of jurisdiction.

(4)

Where a board decides to contract a private entity for the delivery of services, it shall do so in accordance with the Public Procurement and Disposal Act, 2005 (No. 3 of 2005).

34.
Service delivery in towns

The provisions of this Part shall, with necessary modifications, apply in the case of the delivery of services in towns by the town committee.

35.
Objections by residents

A resident may object to any partnership or joint venture under section 33 in accordance with the regulations made under this Act.

PART V – INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT PLANNING
36.
Objectives of integrated urban areas and city development planning
(1)

Every city and municipality established under this Act shall operate within the framework of integrated development planning which shall—

(a)

give effect to the development of urban areas and cities as required by this Act and any other written law;

(b)

strive to achieve the objects of devolved government as set out in Article 174 of the Constitution;

(c)

contribute to the protection and promotion of the fundamental rights and freedoms contained in Chapter Four of the Constitution and the progressive realization of the socio-economic rights;

(d)

be the basis for—

(i) the preparation of environmental management plans;
(ii) the preparation of valuation rolls for property taxation;
(iii) provision of physical and social infrastructure and transportation;
(iv) preparation of annual strategic plans for a city or municipality;
(v) disaster preparedness and response;
(vi) overall delivery of service including provision of water, electricity, health, telecommunications and solid waste management; and
(vii) the preparation of a geographic information system for a city or municipality;
(e)

nurture and promote development of informal commercial activities in an orderly and sustainable manner;

(f)

provide a framework for regulated urban agriculture; and

(g)

be the basis for development control.

(2)

In addition to the objectives set out in subsection (1), an integrated urban or city development plan shall bind, guide and inform all planning development and decisions and ensure comprehensive inclusion of all functions.

(3)

A county government shall initiate an urban planning process for every settlement with a population of at least two thousand residents.

37.
Plan to align to county government plans
(1)

A city or urban area integrated development plan shall be aligned to the development plans and strategies of the county governments.

38.
Preparation of integrated city or urban development plans

A city or urban area shall prepare an integrated city or urban area development plan in accordance with the Third Schedule to this Act.

39.
Adoption of an integrated development plan
(1)

A board or town committee shall, within the first year of its election, adopt a single, inclusive strategic plan for the development of the city or urban area for which it is responsible.

(2)

An integrated development plan adopted by a board or town committee under subsection (1) may be reviewed and amended during the term of the board or committee and shall remain in force until a new integrated urban area or city development plan is adopted by the succeeding board or town committee, but the incoming board or committee shall ensure that the viable projects are continued or completed.

(3)

A city or urban area shall, within fourteen days of the adoption of its integrated development plan—

(a)

give notice of the adoption of the plan to the public in such manner as a board or committee may determine;

(b)

inform the public that copies of or extracts from the plan are available for public inspection at specified places; and

(c)

provide a summary of the plan.

40.
Contents of integrated city and urban area development plan

An integrated urban area or city development plan shall reflect—

(a)

a board’s or committee’s vision for the long term development of the city or urban area with special emphasis on the board’s or committee’s most critical development needs;

(b)

an assessment of the existing level of development in the city or urban area, including an identification of communities which do not have access to basic services;

(c)

the determination of any affirmative action measures to be applied for inclusion of communities referred to under paragraph (b) to access funds from the equilization funds;

(d)

the board’s development priorities and objectives during its term in office, including its economic development objectives, community needs and its determination on the affirmative action in relation to the marginalised groups access to services;

(e)

a board’s development strategies which shall be aligned with any national or county sectoral plans and planning requirements binding the city or municipality;

(f)

a spatial development framework which shall include the provision of basic guidelines for land use management system for the city or municipality;

(g)

a board’s operational strategies;

(h)

applicable disaster management plans;

(i)

a regulated city and municipal agricultural plan;

(j)

a financial plan, which shall include budget projection for at least the next three years; and

(k)

the key performance indicators and performance targets.

41.
Submission of integrated cities and municipal development plan to the county governor
(1)

The manager or administrator shall submit to the executive committee, a copy of the integrated development plan as adopted by the board or committee within twenty one days of the adoption or amendment.

(2)

The copy of the integrated development plan submitted to the county executive committee shall be accompanied by—

(a)

a summary of the process of its formulation plan provided under this Part; and

(b)

a statement that the process has been complied with, together with any explanations that may be necessary to clarify the statement.

(3)

The county executive committee shall, within thirty days of receipt of a copy of the plan—

(a)

consider the integrated development plan and make recommendations; and

(b)

submit the plan to the county assembly for its approval.

42.
Annual review of integrated development plan

A city or municipal board shall review its integrated development plan annually to assess its performance in accordance with performance management tools set by it under this Part, and may amend the plan where it considers it necessary.

PART VI – FINANCIAL PROVISIONS
43.
Funds of a board
(1)

The funds of a board shall consist of—

(a)

monies allocated by a county assembly for the purposes of the management and service delivery of the board;

(b)

monies or assets that may accrue to the board in the course of the exercise of its powers or the performance of its functions under this Act; and

(c)

all monies or grants from any other legitimate source provided or donated to the board.

(2)

Where an urban area or city enters into a joint venture with another entity, the monies allocated for the joint venture shall be determined by a joint budget.

(3)

No payment shall be made out of the funds of a board or town committee unless it has been provided for in the approved annual or revised or supplementary estimates of expenditure and authorized by the board or town committee.

44.
Financial year

The financial year of a board or town committee shall be the period of twelve months ending on the thirtieth June in each year.

45.
Annual estimates
(1)

Three months before the commencement of each financial year, a board or town committee shall cause to be prepared estimates of the revenue and expenditure of a board or town committee for that year.

(2)

The annual estimates shall make provision for all the estimated revenue and expenditure of the board for the financial year to which it relates.

(3)

The annual estimates shall be tabled before the board or town committee for adoption and approval.

(4)

The annual estimates approved by the board or town committee under subsection (3) shall be submitted to the county governor for submission to the county assembly for its approval.

46.
Accounts and audit
(1)

The board or town committee shall cause to be kept all proper books and records of account of its income, expenditure, assets and liabilities.

(2)

Within a period of three months after the end of each financial year, the board or town committee shall submit to the County Executive Committee its accounts for that year for transmission to the Auditor-General together with—

(a)

a statement of the income and expenditure of a board for that year; and

(b)

a statement of the assets and liabilities of a board on the last day of that financial year.

(3)

The Auditor-General shall prepare a financial audit as required under the Public Audit Act, 2003 (No. 12 of 2003) or its successor and shall forward a copy of the report to the relevant board and the County Executive Committee in respect of which the audit report is made.

47.
Audit report to be laid before board or town committee
(1)

As soon as is practicable, and in any event not later than thirty days from the date of receipt of the audit report together with the annual statements and abstracts of accounts, the manager or administrator shall—

(a)

lay the documents before the board or town committee for consideration; and

(b)

make them available to any resident of the area within the jurisdiction of the board, upon application and payment of the prescribed fee.

(2)

Where the manager or the administrator of a board fails to table the report as required under this section, that report shall be laid by any other person authorised by the county governor.

48.
Display of audited financial statement

The board shall cause its audited annual financial statement to be posted in full in a conspicuous place in the board’s offices, or in two widely circulated newspapers and, on the board’s website.

49.
Pension Schemes

All officers of a board shall, on the commencement of this Act, subscribe to an existing pension scheme approved by the Retirement Benefits Authority.

PART VII – MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
50.
Disclosure of personal interest by officers

If it comes to the knowledge of an officer employed by a board that a bargain, contract or arrangement in which he or she has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest (other than a bargain, contract or arrangement to which he or she is a party) has been or is proposed to be made or entered into by the board, that officer shall as soon as practicable give notice in writing to the board disclosing the fact that he or she has interest therein.

51.
Board to furnish county executive with copies of proceedings

Every board shall furnish the county executive committee and any other person as the county executive committee may designate, with certified copies of—

(a)

any proceedings or minutes of the board or its committees within twenty one days after the confirmation of the minutes;

(b)

records of any of its accounts; and

(c)

reports, statistics and documents as the county executive committee may require.

52.
Protection against personal liability
(1)

No act, matter or thing done or omitted to be done by—

(a)

the chairperson or vice chairperson of the board of a city or municipality;

(b)

any member of a board or its management or committee;

(c)

any member of staff or other person in the service of city or municipal board; or

(d)

any person acting under the direction of a board,

shall, if that act, matter or thing was done or omitted to be done in good faith in the execution of a duty or under direction, render that member or person personally liable to any civil action, claim or demand.

(2)

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), a person who misappropriates, or authorises the use of funds contrary to existing law or instructions shall be accountable for any loss arising from that use and shall be required to make good the loss even if that person has ceased to hold office.

[Act No. 12 of 2012, Sch.]

53.
Regulations
(1)

The Cabinet Secretary may make regulations, for the better carrying out of the provisions of this Act, or for prescribing anything which is required to be prescribed under this Act.

(2)

Regulations made under this section shall be tabled before the Senate for approval, and shall not take effect until such approval is obtained.

PART VIII – TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS
54.
Assessment and classification of existing urban areas and cities
(1)

During the transition period assessment shall be undertaken on the existing urban areas and cities in order to ascertain whether they meet the criteria for classification as urban areas or cities under this Act, and shall be classified accordingly.

55.
Rights and liabilities

All rights, assets and liabilities accrued in respect of the properties vested in the local authorities established under the Local Government Act (Cap. 265) which shall stand repealed after the first election under the Constitution shall be dealt with as provided by law.

56.
Existing bye-laws and orders of local authorities

All directions, resolutions, orders and authorizations given by by-laws made, and licenses or permits issued by the local authorities established, under the Local Government Act and subsisting or valid immediately before the commencement of this Act shall be deemed to have been given, issued or made by the boards established pursuant to this Act, as the case may be, until their expiry, amendment or repeal.

57.
Staff, officers, etc
(1)

Every person who, immediately before the commencement of this Act was an officer, agent or member of staff appointed, seconded or otherwise employed by a local authority shall, on the commencement of this Act be seconded or otherwise deployed as may be provided by law.

58.
Existing contracts, etc
(1)

Any act, matter or thing lawfully done by any local authority before the commencement of this Act and any contract, arrangement, agreement, settlement, trust, bequest, transfer, division, distribution or succession affecting any service delivery, trade of any form, sale or dealings on land or any other matter affecting assets, liabilities or property belonging to any local authority whether moveable, immoveable or intellectual property shall, unless and until affected by the operation of this Act, continue in force and be vested in a body established by law.

59.
Pending actions and proceedings

Any legal right accrued, cause of action commenced in any court of law or tribunal established under any written law in force, or any defence, appeal, or reference howsoever filed by or against any local authority shall continue to be sustained in the same manner in which they were prior to the commencement of this Act against a body established by law.

60.
Municipalities of Mombasa and Kisumu

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act, the municipalities of Mombasa and Kisumu existing immediately before the commencement of this Act shall be deemed to be cities established under this Act.

FIRST SCHEDULE [Sections 5(1)(e), 9(1)(e), and 10 (2)(d), Act No. 3 of 2019, s.19.]
SECOND SCHEDULE [Section 22, Act No. 12 of 2012, Sch.]
RIGHTS OF, AND PARTICIPATION BY RESIDENTS IN AFFAIRS OF THEIR CITY OR URBAN AREA
1.
Rights and duties of residents
(1)

Subject to paragraph (2), residents of a city or urban area have the right to—

(a)

contribute to the decision-making processes of the city or urban area by submitting written or oral presentations or complaints to a board or town committee through the city or municipal manager or town administrator;

(b)

prompt responses to their written or oral communications;

(c)

be informed of decisions of a board or town committee, affecting their rights, property and reasonable expectations;

(d)

regular disclosure of the state of affairs of the city or urban area, including its finances;

(e)

demand that the proceedings of a board or town committee and its committees or sub committees be—

(i) conducted impartially and without prejudice; and
(ii) untainted by personal self-interest;
(f)

the use and enjoyment of public facilities; and

(g)

have access to services which the city or urban area provides.

2.
Participation by residents
(1)

A city or urban area shall develop a system of governance that encourages participation by residents in its affairs, and shall for that purpose—

(a)

create appropriate conditions for participation in—

(i) the preparation, implementation and review of the integrated development plan;
(ii) the establishment, implementation and review of its performance management system;
(iii) the monitoring and review of its performance, including the outcomes and impact of its performance;
(iv) the preparation of its budget; and
(v) making of strategic decisions relating to delivery of service;
(b)

contribute to building the capacity of—

(i) the residents to enable them participate in the affairs of the city or urban area; and
(ii) members of the board or town committee and staff to foster community participation;
(c)

apply its resources, and allocate funds annually as may be appropriate for the implementation of paragraphs (a) and (b); and

(d)

establish appropriate mechanisms, processes and procedures for—

(i) the receipt, processing and consideration of petitions and complaints lodged by residents;
(ii) petitions and public comments procedures, when appropriate;
(iii) notification of public meetings and hearings organised by a board or town committee;
(iv) consultative sessions with locally recognized resident organisations; and
(v) reporting to the residents.
(2)

The provisions of paragraph (1) shall not be construed as permitting interference with a board's or town committee’s right to govern and exercise its functions.

(3)

When establishing mechanisms, processes and procedures under subsection (1), the city or urban area shall take into account the special needs of—

(a)

people who cannot read or write;

(b)

people with disabilities;

(c)

youth;

(d)

gender equity; and

(e)

minority and marginalised groups.

THIRD SCHEDULE [Section 38.]
PREPARATION OF AN INTERGRATED PLAN

In the preparation of the integrated urban area or city development plan a city or urban area shall provide for—

(a)

an assessment of the current social, cultural, economic and environmental situation in its area of jurisdiction;

(b)

a determination of community needs and aligning them to the requirements of the Constitution;

(c)

protection and promotion of the interests and rights of minorities and marginalized groups and communities;

(d)

a shared vision for its development and that of the county as a whole;

(e)

an audit of available resources, skills and capacities;

(f)

prioritization of the identified needs in order of urgency and long-term importance;

(g)

integrated frameworks and goals to meet the identified needs;

(h)

strategies to achieve the goals within specific time frames;

(i)

specific implementation programmes and projects to achieve intended goals; and

(j)

performance management tools to measure impact and performance and make appropriate corrections;

(k)

linkage, integration and coordination of sector plans;

(l)

development control; and

(m)

any other necessary matter.