, NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 22 – A resident of Makueni has lost his bid to block the Commission of Inquiry into the dissolution of the county government.
The inquiry is due to begin sittings on Thursday.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi declined to suspend the proceedings which will be chaired by lawyer Mohammed Nyaoga saying the petitioner, Michael Kisoi, should have sought to resolve the matter much earlier since the petition was served on President Uhuru Kenyatta last November.
“The participation of residents of Makueni County is very integral but they are not sufficiently empowered economically to travel to Nairobi on such a short notice,” Justice Ngugi said.
The Nyaoga-led commission was appointed in March after a petition was presented last November to President Kenyatta recommending the suspension of the county government.
According to Kisoi, the petition has never been published by the county government or any duly recognised constitutional organ to enable the citizens and residents of Makueni County understand its contents, purport and consequences.
He argues: “The county government never undertook any civic education in the county to educate its residents on the contents, purport and consequences of the petition before signing it.”
Kisoi went on to say that the county government never facilitated the conduct of a local referendum among the residents and citizens of the county on the petition before signing it.
The county government stands accused of failing to set up the structures for public participation that would enable the residents and citizens in Makueni County present their views on the petition before signing it.
According to the petitioner, there was never approval by the national and county government coordinating summit of the President’s decision to constitute the commission as required by law.
Consequently, the petitioner was seeking a declaration that the petition presented to the President on or about November 22, 2014 seeking to suspend Makueni County Government breached the petitioner’s rights under the provisions of Articles 27(1).
Further, Kisoi wanted the High Court to declare that proceedings of the Commission of Inquiry are in breach of his rights.
Makueni county residents petitioned President Kenyatta to dissolve the county government which is beset with wrangling between the governor and members of the county assembly.
Section 123(1) of the Acts allows any person to petition the President to suspend a county government if the county government engages in actions that are deemed to be against the common needs and interests of the citizens.