Senate team wants Raila to mediate Taita Taveta budget stand-off

By Hillary Mageka On Wed, 14 Aug, 2019 17:18 | 2 mins read
Granton Samboja
ODM leader Raila Odinga. Photo/FILE
Editor's Review

    The county is yet to adopt the 2019/20 budget because of a protracted row over Sh800 million MCAs allocated themselves for development.

A Senate committee has resolved to turn to Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula after failing to end budget stand-off pitting Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja against his ward representatives.

The former National Super Alliance principals will help mediate the deteriorating relationship between the governor and ward reps.

The Taita Taveta County Assembly for 2019/20 is yet to be adopted following protracted wrangles between the Executive and the reps.

In an appraisal report tabled in the Senate on Wednesday, the committee Chairman Senator John Kinyua (Laikipia) said they have also reached out to the Inter-government Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC) to come up with specific strategies to address the issue.

“We want the IGRTC to be involved so that we can engage all of them. This is a matter that involves parties. Therefore, we are also engaging the ODM party leader because majority of the MCAs are from ODM,” Mr Kinyua said.

“We are involving the party leader in these discussions so that we have a solution,” he added.

Samboja refused to approve the budget after the MCAs cut the executive’s allocations and directed the slashed amount, Sh833 million to the ward development fund.

Earlier, Samboja threatened to have the assembly dissolved and embarked on a drive to collect signatures to petition President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The row started in June when the county assembly passed a Sh533 budget with each MCA allocating themselves Sh41.5 million for projects.

The governor opposed the allocation sparking off the row that has now roped in opposition politicians.

How to dissolve a county government

The Constitution only allows for suspension of a county government by the President in case of an emergency arising out of internal conflict or war; or in any other exceptional circumstances.

But a county government cannot be suspended unless an independent commission of inquiry has investigated allegations against the county government and the President is satisfied that the allegations are justified.

The Senate has to authorise the suspension, which can only be for a period of 90 days.

On expiry of the 90 days, the law allows for an election to be held.