What you need to know:
- It accuses the county assembly of refusing to have its books of accounts inspected by the county Treasury.
- Since its establishment in 2013, the county assembly had only managed to enact seven laws.
- Makueni MCAs were “tools” used by the Speaker, Majority Leader and Clerk to maintain power.
- The commission linked the differences between Prof Kibwana and the Speaker to political alignments dating back to the last General Election.
Bitter differences between Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and the county assembly Speaker coupled with the misuse of funds by ward representatives have rendered the county government unable to work.
A report by the commission of inquiry into the county government’s dissolution also faults the inability of the assembly to enact laws and play its oversight role as well as Prof Kibwana’s failure to reach out to all stakeholders to address problems in the county.
The commission, chaired by lawyer Mohammed Nyaoga, notes that so dysfunctional is the county government that it had not approved annual development plans for the past two financial years as required by law.
It accuses the assembly of refusing to have its books of accounts inspected by the county treasury and failing to submit quarterly and annual financial statements to the treasury in line with the law.
The assembly initiated and passed the Makueni County Wards Development Fund Act requiring the Executive to give it almost Sh1.3 billion out of the annual development budget of Sh1.8 billion for the financial year 2013/2014, according to the report.
ACT BREACHED PRINCIPLE
The Act also provides that for subsequent years, the assembly majority leader will determine the amount allocated for ward development, contrary to the Public Finance Management Act, the report says.
It notes that the enactment of the Act breached the principle of separation of powers by granting assembly members the dual role of executive implementation and legislative oversight.
“For instance, the Act provides for the Member of the County Assembly to nominate the Chairman of the Ward Development Committee yet appointive powers are exclusively executive in nature.”
Despite the Executive pointing out the illegality of the Act, the assembly would not budge, Mr Nyaoga’s team noted.
Since its establishment in 2013, the assembly had managed to enact only seven laws, as opposed to Bungoma County, for instance, that has enacted 27 laws, according to the commission.
“Furthermore, four of the Bills passed were money Bills and in essence, therefore, Makueni County Assembly passed only four pieces of legislation” in two-and-a-half years, the commission noted.
MCAs AS 'TOOLS'
It noted that the Makueni MCAs were “tools” used by the Speaker, the majority leader and the clerk to maintain power.
“The offices they hold are only peripherally instruments of genuine social change and this was evident by their lack of passing of crucial Bills, partly, for lack of know-how and capacity; and more importantly, lack of a people-centric focus.
“For the assembly, any affront on their hold on power must be diffused.
“It points to their unwillingness to contribute robustly to developing the political, economic and social relations.”
President Kenyatta has since declined to dissolve the county government, noting that the grounds outlined by the commission are not sufficient to warrant such a decision.
The Nyaoga commission faulted Prof Kibwana for failing to reach out to key stakeholders in the county to resolve the differences, which have hampered public service.
NO PUBLIC FORUM
“There has been no forum, to the best of the commission’s knowledge, called by the governor, within which people have debated the really difficult issues of political party affiliations in a frank environment and their impact on the development of the county.
“Negative national-level politics has permeated and been unaddressed in Makueni County,” the commission states.
The Makueni Executive seemed keen on trying to control the crisis on its own terms without seeking consensus, according to the report.
However, it appeared good at communicating with citizens at the grassroots, to an extent that the MCAs feel threatened in their own backyard, it adds.
“Given the onslaught on his person, the governor could have taken a more robust inclusive approach.”
The report further notes that it is only in Makueni where the assembly, through the clerk and the Speaker, asserts that it is not a county government entity “in clear contravention of Article 176 which defines a county government as consisting of the County Assembly and County Executive”.
The commission linked the differences between Prof Kibwana and the Speaker to political alignments dating back to the last General Election.