Normalcy is slowly returning to Makueni County after President Uhuru Kenyatta declined to suspend the County Government contrary to the recommendations made by the Mohammed Nyaoga-led commission that was tasked to look into a petition to dissolve the county.
The decision by President Kenyatta to quash the commission’s decision has left the warring parties with no other option but to bury their hatchets and work together for the sake of development in a county that is yet to fully realize the fruits of devolution thanks to the endless bickering between the Members of the County Assembly (MCA’s) and Governor Kivutha Kibwana.
The assembly that reopened last week after a one month recess seems to have hit the ground running and already has three bills tabled before the house for legislation.
According to the assembly’s Communication Officer Winnie Mumo, Public Participation in Governance bill, Youth and Women Empowerment bill, Vetting and Approval of Public of Officers bill are all in the second reading stage.
The legislative arm which the petitioners had accused of failing to pass key legislations seems keen on reclaiming its lost glory now that the President has saved the county from a snap election much to the delight of the MCAs.
The County Assembly leadership has particularly hailed the president’s decision for rejecting the proposal to suspend the county with Speaker Stephen Ngelu terming the move as wise.
His sentiments were echoed by Nzambani/Ivingoni MCA Cosmas Nzilili who praised the president for declining the recommendation by the commission.
“The move by the President was the best but that does not mean that were afraid of the dissolution, “said Nzilili.
Mbooni MP Kisoi Munyao who had been opposed to the process since the beginning said the president heeded to the true voice of the residents of Makueni saying the dissolution was initiated by people with selfish interests.
Kisoi blamed Governor Kibwana for misleading the people of Makueni in believing that majority of residents wanted dissolution yet he was the master mind of the whole process.
“The president has saved Makueni. I have always said there is nothing like dissolution. If only people listened to me,” said the MP in a Facebook post.
On his part, the Governor said that the President exercised his powers as outlined in the Constitution to terminate the suspension proceedings of the county government.
“The president was not satisfied that there existed justifiable grounds for the dissolution,” he said in his official Facebook page.
Kibwana noted that the President has consistently held his position, perhaps an indication that his decision to quash the commission’s recommendation was not a surprise but disclosed that his government was also aware that many affected leaders lobbied for the county not to be suspended.
He retaliated that majority of the residents wanted the county dissolved adding that he shall meet with other leaders at the grassroot level to make a decision on the way forward.
“My position will be what the majority decide, “said the Governor.
Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr also in a similar post said that he will convene a meeting with the county leaders to chart a way forward for the once troubled county government.
Josephat Kioko a resident said a majority of the people of Makueni wanted dissolution and faulted the president’s move.
“The sovereign power belongs to the people who filed for the petition to have the county disbanded,” he said.
Kioko however noted that with the proceedings terminated the two arms of the government should forge a working relationship and deliver services to the residents.
The decision by the President to decline to suspend the county came as a shocker to many residents who believed there existed sufficient reasons to dissolve the county.
According to the commission’s findings 94 percent of the residents rooted for dissolution but with the President’s decision being final the residents will just have to wait for the next general elections and vote in leaders who they believe will execute their mandate without squabbling as witnessed in the current government.