Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja has told off Deputy President (DP) William Ruto over his calls to amicably sort out issues with ward representatives.
Samboja said he does not need advice from DP Ruto on how to resolve the protracted row with Taita Taveta MCAs who have refused to pass the county budget.
Speaking on Monday at the funeral of Dickson Mwashuke in Wundanyi, Samboja accuses Dr Ruto of meddling the affairs of his county and engaging in divisive politics.
"We respect the Deputy President but he must respect us. That is why since I began campaign to dissolve the county government, I have not stepped into his office. We have the formula to resolve our issues, our petition will be taken to the President, and not Ruto. What the President will say is what we will follow," the visibly angry governor said.
Samboja claimed that Ruto insulted the residents of Taita Taveta by allegedly saying that the signature collection exercise was a futile drive.
On Sunday, the DP urged the county not to seek a dissolution but instead embrace dialogue.
Ruto was speaking during a church service at Buguta grounds in Taita Taveta.
“The solution of problems facing Taita Taveta County cannot be solved by moving from one office to another in Nairobi. They can be solved here at the grassroots if you put aside your differences and work together,” Ruto said.
But Samboja took issue with the DP’s comments, terming them insults.
"I have been elected by people of Taita Taveta and I will not accept anyone to insult us. It doesn't matter whether you are the DP or governor, we are all Kenyans and deserve respect. Ruto should keep his 2022 politics out of Taita Taveta County," Samboja said.
The governor did not attend Ruto’s event, saying he supports the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga.
He accused Ruto of engaging in early campaigns for his 2022 presidential bid, instead of supporting President Kenyatta deliver on his Big 4 agenda.
"…We do not want divisive politics. We have not solicited his advice and he should keep off because we know how to resolve our problems," said Samboja.
On Sunday, DP Ruto said that by calling for the dissolution of the county, the county leaders were eroding the gains made through devolution.
Ruto warned that endless wrangles and chaos will derail development in the area.