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Talks to avert dissolution of Taita Taveta County ongoing

Devolution Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eugene Wamalwa has initiated mediation talks between the Taita Taveta county executive and county assembly in efforts to resolve the current stalemate and avert a dissolution.
Wamalwa while addressing the media on Tuesday said they have been engaging with the leadership of the Taita Taveta County after a standoff between the executive and the legislative assembly.
The stalemate had led to an announcement by governor Granton Samboja that he wants to petition President Kenyatta for the resolution of the county government.
“As the ministry in charge of intergovernmental relations I have been in talks with governor Samboja who has been very cooperative and has sent his deputy governor Majala Mlaghui together with the executive members.
We have engaged in long deliberations and together with the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), the Auditor General’s office, National treasury and we are looking at what has happened and why we have a threat of dissolution of the county government,” explained Wamalwa.
Wamalwa said they were going to also engage with the County Assembly leadership who are already in Nairobi and after that they will visit Taita Taveta County as a mediation team.
“We need to find out what bedevils the county and see if there is an amicable way the matter can be resolved so that there is no disruption of services to the county residents.” Wamalwa said.
“We are aware that the first county to petition the president for dissolution was the county of Makueni in 2015 when Prof. Kivutha Kibwana had a standoff with his county assembly and they did petition the president who discouraged the move saying that dissolution was such a drastic measure and it should be the last resort after all other mechanisms have been exhausted,” said the CS.
According to Wamalwa there are other counties facing difficulties like Kisumu where governor Prof. Anyang Nyongo had a standoff with the county assembly, in Nairobi governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has also had problems with the county assembly and there are three others.
“The law has mechanisms of resolving these issues without taking the most drastic of measure and we are looking at those options and we will be doing it together with the Senate, Council of Governors (CoG) and the affected members,” he said.
Chair of the Senate Committee on Devolution John Kinyua said that there is need for leaders to dialogue since the issue is not unique to Taita Taveta County considering that each county has its own challenges.
Kinyua said that it will be hypocritical to make a decision without listening to the people of Taita Taveta County adding that they will have to go there and listen to their grievances first before making any recommendations.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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