President Uhuru Kenya has declined to suspend Makueni County saying that the county does not meet the constitutional threshold for suspension.
Barely three days after the Mohammed Nyaoga – led commission looking into the possible suspension of the county handed its report at State house in Mombasa recommending for the dissolution of the county, President Uhuru through a press statement said there were not justifiable reasons to dissolve the county government.
Although the president noted a litany of failures like the 2013/2014 budget stalemate, 14 abroad trips by Members of the County Assembly and a gun fight at the County Assembly precincts in which six people were shot and injured, he suggested that alternative mechanisms should be used to deal with such maladministration and ineptitude.
“These litany of failures do not meet the high bar set for the exercise of this special power,” he said.
The president added that under the new devolved units the right precedents needs to be set noting that an ejection of an elected government was extremely grave and should be used sparingly in the most exceptional circumstances.
The president’s move to decline to suspend the county government is definitely a reprieve to the MCAs who seemed to abhor the process.
Majority Leader Francis Mutuku Munyao speaking after the commission of inquiry recommended for dissolution opposed the verdict and disclosed that the County Assembly would lobby the President and the Senate to have the report quashed.
On the flip side, the move is also a big blow to Governor Kivutha Kibwana who has unequivocally supported the dissolution citing irreconcilable differences between him and the MCAs.
More than 50,000 residents of Makueni last year filed a petition to have the county dissolved over the persistent wrangling between the executive and legislative arms of the government that had adversely affected county operations for two years in row.
Now that the president has declined to suspend the county, the two arms have no other option than to work together and deliver the much-needed services to the Makueni residents, a county that faces a myriad of problems ranging from high levels of poverty, food insecurity and acute water shortages.