Kivutha Kibwana seeks assembly dissolution
Prof Kibwana said the President could dissolve the county government by invoking the Constitution.
“The Constitution is very clear that if a county government is unable to function and deliver services to the people, then the only way out is to dissolve it and call for fresh elections so that new leaders can take over,” Prof Kibwana told the Nation on Thursday.
He lamented that the differences had stalled the operations of the government. “I have begun consultations with the people of Makueni so that the county government can be dissolved as nothing seems to be working because of the in-fighting,” said the constitutional scholar.
“If the people of Makueni agree to this proposal, then we will invite the President to dissolve the county government and call for fresh elections within 90 days for the residents to elect a new leadership.”
Prof Kibwana noted: “We fought very hard for this Constitution and therefore we should let the law take its course where we feel things are not moving. Truth be told, the county government has not been functioning as is required. I am ready to forgo the position of governor if the people of Makueni choose to elect another person in the event that fresh elections are held.”
Prof Kibwana accused the county assembly of making it “very difficult” for the government to function, citing delays in passing Bills and the budget that would facilitate the smooth running of the county.
He said the current standoff that on Tuesday degenerated into chaos and shooting exposed the deep-rooted problems bedevilling the county.
He accused the MCAs of being hell-bent on crippling the government.
“The MCAs want to remove four of the county executives whom they accuse of being involved in impropriety. If they succeed, then it means I will only be left with four members of the Cabinet. What this means is that since the two of the executives being targeted are women, the Cabinet will not meet the gender threshold and therefore not able to transact any business,” Prof Kibwana said.
Last year, the county was unable to work for six months because of delays in passing the budget as well as supplementary budgets.
The governor said the problems facing Makueni had been engineered by a section of leaders intent on kicking him out of office because of his position against corruption.
FAILED TO ACCOUNT FOR MILLIONS
He dismissed as false claims that he had failed to account for millions of shillings.
County Assembly Majority Leader Francis Munyao has dismissed Kibwana’s leadership as activism.
What the law says about termination of county assembly
Article 192 of the Constitution says that the President may suspend a county government in the event of an emergency arising from an internal conflict or war, and “in any other exceptional circumstances.”
It is not clear what the law means by ‘exceptional circumstances’ but this may be at the prerogative of the President to determine.
However, the same article says suspension can only happen after an independent commission of inquiry has investigated allegations against the county government and after the “President is satisfied that the allegations are justified and the Senate has authorised the suspension.” This suspension must only be within 90 days but the Senate has the powers to terminate the suspension any time.
When the county government is under suspension, certain functions may be performed by an entity created by the National Government, under the County Governments Act.
If the suspension lasts for 90 days, elections must be held after this period for all the elective positions under that county government.
In Section 123 of the Act, a person may petition the President to suspend a county government if the person thinks the government is involved in actions “deemed to be against the common needs and interests of the citizens of a county.”