Some sections of the media tend to judge the performance of a Member of the County Assembly (MCA) exclusively from what he or she has done for the ward the MCA was elected in. In consequence, an MCA tends to campaign for re-election on this basis only: Show off in the ward, point to projects that were put in place there – and make sure that a lot of work is done in the last year of his term. And make the ward development fund‘s achievements shine bright and shed a favorable light on the MCA.
But this is just ONE task of the MCAs. They have a lot of other very important tasks. They are lawmakers for the county, they are budget makers, and it is them who have to oversee the operations of the County government and more. Read here about the tasks of the county assembly. Everything that is mentioned on the page applies to the invidual MCAS. It describes their role.
Hints for media:
- Find out which committees your MCA is sitting in – or even chairing
- What are this committee’s tasks – and what is the stance of your MCA in the issues that are at stake?
- What has she done or said in the County Assembly and the committees? Has she said anything substantial?
- Has she or he sponsored – or opposed any laws, motions, debates or resolutions?
- What was the MCAs stance on some controversial issues in the county? Is the MCA involved in any of the cases that the Auditor General reports on the county have brought up?
You can find this partially out by interviewing him / her and others. But it is good to be prepared and look at documents first, like for example:
- the hansards of the County Assembly (look in the county assembly website)
- the papers that the MCA’s committee has presented to the County Assembly.
If these are online or you get soft copies you are lucky. Get inspired by our Search Hints section to search within these files efficiently.
If the documents are not online you may spend have to request for the information from your county assembly and search for the data. In some counties employees may help you with it. It is worth the effort if you are serious with your political reporting.