, NAIROBI, Kenya Sept 24 – The Senate Sessional Committee on Devolved Government will visit Makueni County next week on a mediation mission following a gun battle that left five people injured on Tuesday.
Committee chairman Kipchumba Murkomen says the impasse if allowed to continue, would cause delay of development in the county.
“The objective of that trip is to find out what is exactly happening, because the committee has a mandate of inter-governmental relations, propose the best way of dealing with the relationship problems within the county. If there are issues of accountability as reported in the media we would like county governments to handle those issues in the confine of the law” Murkomen said on Wednesday.
The Senate team noted that there has been a leadership crisis looming in the county after Members of the Makueni County Assembly issued a 14-day ultimatum over the weekend to Governor Kivutha Kibwana to sack corrupt officers in his government or face impeachment.
The MCAs have accused the governor of frustrating accountability and transparency in the use of county funds.
Leaders from the County Assembly and Governor Kibwana have been embroiled in a blame game with one accusing the other of hiring hooligans to disrupt the meeting.
The Governor told reporters that it was his right to attend the meeting as a leader in Makueni adding that the police should be held solely responsible for the chaos, saying they barred the residents from entering a public facility.
Senators Amos Wako (Busia County), Beatrice Elachi (Nominated), Hassan Omar Hassan (Mombasa County) and Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu County) joined their chair in expressing concern over the polarisation being exhibited in some counties due to referendum politics.
Murkomen called on the National Intelligence Service and the National Police Service to forestall acts of hooliganism and act on perpetrators.
“We do not want to see this devolution of goonship,” Murkomen noted. “We have seen this happening in Trans-Nzoia, in Nandi, in Migori, in Machakos, there is a lot of simmering tension in other counties.”
“We want the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and other institutions to take action against those who are planning organised violence and from there on we will work with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to look for avenues through which counties can work together.”
The committee further said they will be calling for a meeting between the Judiciary and the Senate.
“(The Judiciary) must practice restraint in areas where they will be throwing a spanner in the works in matters of county relations and allow mechanisms that will explore better relations between the counties not to lock them in situations of conflict.”
The call for dialogue comes a day after Senators told off the courts for meddling in matters that are actively before the Legislature.
Senators argued that in the same way that they are barred against debating matters that are before the courts in respect to the sub-judice rule, judges and magistrates must refrain from appearing to direct matters before Parliament by issuing orders that injunct their business.
Senators were especially enraged by the order granted to the Council of Governors which barred the Senate Sessional County Public Accounts and Investment Committee from summoning governors to respond to their counties’ financial irregularities noted in the Controller of Budget and the Auditor General’s reports.