Personal differences between Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and Speaker Stephen Ngelu are to blame for the county woes, a witness told the Makueni probe team.
Cosmas Nzilili, the MCA for Ivingoni/Nzambani ward told the inquiry looking into the possible dissolution of Makueni County that the two leaders were in opposing camps during the 2013 general elections in which the governor defeated the Wiper Party candidate Professor Philip Kaloki, a close ally of the speaker.
The MCA said that the governor did not appreciate the election of Ngelu as the speaker and the rivalry has led to the current leadership crisis in the county.
“The two have never accepted each other and the problem we have is personal and not between the two arms as always perceived,” said Nzilili adding that the governor has always seen the speaker as a representative of Kaloki.
The MCA also trivialized the shooting at the county assembly where six people including the governor’s bodyguard William Kinoti and the Chief of Staff Douglas Mbilu were shot and injured saying that there were no plans to kill the governor.
“There were no plans or attempts whatsoever to kill the governor who enjoys a majority support from the people,” said MCA.
Nzilili termed the petition filed by more than 50,000 as ignorant saying that allegations that the county assembly delayed to legislate on the budget are false.
He said that the two arms of the county government held high-level consultations with various stakeholders including the Controller of Budget to come up with a reasonable budget but even after passing the 2014/2015 budget the governor wrote to the government printer not to gazette it.
Asked by the governor’s lead counsel Wilfred Nyamu why they had to consult with the Controller of Budget, the MCA said that the county assembly had no previous budget model to compare with hence the need for the consultations.
However, the MCA’s description of the petition as ignorant did not go well with the commissioners prompting the MCA to drop the statement.
The witness, who the petitioner’s lawyer Kyalo Mboova described as elusive, slippery and fairly educated had his earlier evidence given in camera trashed by the commission Chair Mohammed Nyaoga terming it as sentimental and dramatic.
“The evidence that the witness gave in camera is about a book in the bookshops that anybody can read,”said Nyaoga.