The public proceedings into the possible dissolution of Makueni County will tomorrow enter the fourth week at Wote town and so far more than 15 witnesses have testified before the Mohammed Nyaoga – led commission.
Some of the key witnesses that have given their evidence, is the County Assembly Speaker Stephen Ngelu whose personal rivalry between him and Governor Kivutha Kibwana has been blamed for the county squabbles.
The speaker who took the witness stand last Thursday is expected to face the commission for the third time when the public hearings resume tomorrow at 8am at the Makueni Early Childhood Education Training Institute (MECETTI).
The Governor who has blamed the speaker and the County Assembly at large for deliberately derailing the development agenda is also expected to testify before the commission this week.
While giving their evidence to the commission, a section of the witnesses including the Kamba Council of Elders and the clergy turned heat on the Governor for failing to reconcile the warring parties in the persistent wrangling that has dogged the county for the last two years since the inception of devolution.
Other witnesses who painted the Governor in bad light include Majority Leader Francis Mutuku and MCA for Ivingoni/Nzambani ward Cosmas Nzilili who have accused the governor of abetting corruption and spreading propaganda against the MCAs with an aim of tarnishing the County Assembly’s image.
It is therefore evident, that Kivutha who has continued to enjoy majority support from the residents especially after the shoot-out at the county assembly in which the Governor claimed he was targeted for assassination, will have an herculean task to redeem his image in the public eye, now that the damning revelations by the clergy and council of elders accused the governor of refusing to broker a truce.
The Governor has however said in a post in his official Facebook page that he is not to blame for all the leadership wrangles. He sought to distance himself from the petition that the MCAs and the Kamba Council of Elders have accused him of engineering, by stating that the two arms of government have been put on trial by the people of Makueni.
In the lengthy Facebook post, the governor said that it would not be his business to demonstrate whether the arms of the government can be reconciled or not or show how rotten the assembly or its membership is.
It reads in part, “Both the Assembly and the Executive have been taken to the Commission by the People of Makueni. Both of us are on trial. The charge: Are we so dysfunctional that we cannot offer services to the people of Makueni? Are there then over time exceptional circumstances that warrant the 90 days suspension of the county government to pave way for an interim administration and fresh elections?
Kibwana continues to argue that, in his view the exceptional circumstances in which a County Government can be suspended as outlined in Article 192 of the Constitution, match with the circumstances that the Makueni county government has operated in the last two years.
The Governor enumerated in his post ten issues that have affected the county as some of the exceptional circumstances alluded to in the Constitution.
Some of the matters he raised include failure of the county government to pass a budget on time two years in row, poor delivery of services, physical violence, impunity, and lack of reconciliation.
The Governor concludes his post by saying that he will abide by the position of the people of Makueni in this matter and the consequent decisions by the Commission of Inquiry and Senate.
However, the Governor’s post has created a frenzy on Facebook with some residents castigating him for the wrangling.
It will be interesting to see how the Governor will tackle the commission now that most of the witnesses who have appeared before the commission have blamed either arm for the wrangling.