In a historic decision, which could pave way for the dissolution of the first county under the devolved system of government, a Commission of Inquiry into the petition to suspend the Makueni county government has recommended that it should be dissolved.
The vicious power struggles between Governor Kivutha Kibwana and MCAs have seen operations in the county paralysed for almost three years now. And now the tribunal has said differences between Kibwana and the Ward Reps are irreconcilable and hence the drastic decision.
The landmark decision is contained in a report, which was handed yesterday by the Mohammed Nyaoga-led commission to President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Mombasa. And in what reveals wanton wastage of public resources by elected officials in the county, damning allegations of corruption and impropriety linking county officials emerged yesterday with the report’s release.
The report for instance unearthed that MCAs sat in seven to 12 county committees to cash in on the devolved unit’s coffers. But the extent of the rot is revealed in allegations that about Sh1.2 billion meant for development was diverted to cater for luxury foreign trips by MCAs and officials of the county because “there was no other money for travel.”
It also emerged that little development has taken place in the county due to the persistent wrangles. The report indicates that the county headquarters, Wote, lacks basic amenities such as water supply, with the governor relying on donkeys for water supply.
Hostilities between the opposing camps have been so severe with the commission citing the altercation that led to shots were being fired, adding that it is only in Makueni where an assassination attempt has been made on the life of the governor, thus making the situation dangerous and untenable.
The report has recommended suspension of the county, and subsequently dissolution after at least 94 per cent of the residents who appeared before the commission recommended the same. President Uhuru is now expected to submit the report to Senate that will be tasked with the responsibility of recommending further action.