Makueni Dissolution Commission Vetting Starts
The commission, as proposed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, will be tasked to inquire into a petition seeking the disolution of the County Government of Makueni.
President Kenyatta nominated the commissioners following a request by a section of the leaders from the area to have the County Government disolved.
Among those nominated by the President include lawyer Mohammed Nyaoga, who is expected to head the Commission, National Police Service Commission (NPSC) chairman Johnston Kavuludi, Emily Gatuguta, Prof. Harrison Maithya, Alice Wairimu Nderitu and Taib Ali Taib.
The six were selected in line with section 123(5) of the County Governments Act which outlines the criteria for selection of members to such commissions.
If approved by Senate, the commission will determine the grounds raised by the Makueni electorate who petitioned for the county's dissolution.
Should the commission find the dissolution grounds strong enough as per Article 192 of the Constitution of Kenya, they will recommend the dissolution of the county government to the President.
The appointment of the commission of inquiry signals the beginning of the end of the nearly two-year-old county government of Makueni headed by Governor Kivutha Kibwana.
In November 2014, over 3,000 members of the public from Makueni pitched tent at Harambee house in a bid to present President Kenyatta with a petition to dissolve the County government which they accused of embezzling funds and not initiating any development.
The residents also complained that the constant wrangles pitting Governor Kivutha Kibwana against the members of the County Assembly was stalling activities in the County as several laws were yet to be considered by the assembly.
The county government could be suspended and placed under an Interim County Management Board should the six-member Commission of Inquiry uphold the allegations against it and the President and Senate are in agreement.
If the steps are completed leading to the dissolution, Makueni County would become the first to have all its elective positions put back onto the ballot for voters to pick new occupants.
If the Makueni County Government is suspended, Governor Kivutha Kibwana and the entire county administration, including the legislative arm of the county, bringing together all the Members of County Assembly (MCAs), would go into the books of history as the first casualties of the dissolution of a county government.
By Maureen Murimi