Majority of residents from Matiliku, Makueni county want the county dissolved over what they termed as irreconcilable differences between Governor Kivutha Kibwana and Members of the County Assembly (MCAs)
While giving their submissions to the probe team looking into the possible dissolution of the county, close to 90 percent of the residents who attended a public hearing held at Matiliku Catholic church said the persistent wrangling between the legislative and the executive arm was irreversible and called on the Mohammed Nyaoga – led commission to recommend for dissolution.
Bernard Nzoka, a resident said the frosty relationship between the governor and the MCAs had derailed development and dissolution was the only solution to end the wrangling.
Nzoka accused the MCAs of deliberately delaying the budget and working in cohort with other political forces outside Makueni to frustrate Kibwana’s development agenda.
“The MCAs are corrupt and are not ready to work with the governor, the county should be dissolved so that we can elect a fresh team,” he said.
Nzoka also faulted the MCAs for failing to adhere to the budget ceilings set by the Commission of Revenue Allocation.(CRA)
James Mwikya attributed the wrangling to the continuation of political rivalry from the 2013 general elections in which the governor defeated former MP for Kibwezi Professor Philip Kaloki, a close ally of Speaker Stephen Ngelu.
He took a swipe at the county leaders of lying to the residents and rooted for dissolution.
“These leaders cannot reconcile yet the common man is suffering. Let them go home,” he said.
Esther Mueni, also a resident regretted the standoff and condemned the county leaders for the poor leadership.
She cited lack of respect among the leaders as the key problem behind the infighting and said that the people of Makueni should be given another chance to elect fresh leaders.
“The most unfortunate thing is to elect leaders who instead of serving the electorate go for each other necks,” said Mueni.
Musau Ndunda said most of the MCAs were semi-literate and could not understand their constitutional mandate.
Ndunda noted that the MCAs’ ignorance made them easy targets of arm-twisting and manipulation by other leaders keen on pursuing selfish interests.
“Let the county be dissolved the wrangles especially on budget are an indication that the MCAs are greedy and selfish,” he said.
Daniel Kimilu noted that the poor track of development in the county occasioned by the infighting should act as an impetus for the county to be dissolved.
Kimilu said both arms had failed in their functions and should therefore be send packing.
“Most of the projects are incomplete and the legislations are few, let the leaders know that Makueni is bigger than any individual and we shall not watch as they destroy the county,” he said.
However, a few residents opposed the dissolution and turned the heat on the governor whom they accused of being incompetent.
Kavi Mutuku said Kibwana was behind the wrangling and accused him of inciting the public against the MCAs.
He castigated the governor for his poor record on development saying that governor was using the wrangling to shift the blame to the MCAs for his ineptitude.
“The governor is a non- performer, cunning and an inciter who hates anyone who confronts him with the truth,” said Mutuku.
He also accused the governor of running a corrupt government riddled with nepotism.
Mutisya Mutua also criticized the governor for what he termed as efforts by the executive to obstruct the oversight role of the county assembly.
Mutua said the governor had initiated the culture of activism in the county making it ungovernable.
“The governor is gifted in shifting blames, when he was an MP he terribly failed but blamed the councilors for misleading him. This activism should stop,” he said.
Stephen Mutuku called for reconciliation among the warring parties noting that there was no time to hold a snap election.
Mutuku opposed dissolution and underscored the need for civic education for proper governance.
“It is important for the public to know the roles of each arm to avoid the current blame game,” he said.
Last year more than 50,000 residents from Makueni filed a petition to suspend the county government owing to the prolonged infighting between the governor and MCAs.
Subsequently, a six-member commission was formed to look into the petition. The commission is currently holding public hearings at the sub county level.
Chair Nyaoga has said the commission will expedite its work and present the findings to President Uhuru Kenyatta within two months.