Raila calls for urgent mediation to resolve wrangles in Taita Taveta County

ODM party leader Raila Odinga and Taita-Taveta County Governor Granton Samboja (right) at his office Capitol hill in Nairobi. [Edward Kiplimo/Standard]
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for mediation to solve wrangles at Taita Taveta County.

Should Governor Granton Samboja and Members of County Assembly fail to reach an agreement on their dispute, Raila proposed dissolution of the county to serve as a lesson to other counties with similar problems.

“I appeal to the aggrieved parties to reach a consensus. If no solution is reached then there is no other option, but to dissolve the county government and go back for fresh elections. This should serve as an example to the rest of the counties with similar problems," Raila said yesterday when he hosted Samboja and his executive committee members at his Capital Hill office in Nairobi.

Samboja’s problems begun recently when he refused to grant MCAs their wish for more than Sh830 million in this year's budget for their wards.

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The governor returned the County Finance Bill, 2019, to the House for review, terming the MCAs’s move illegal.

The 20 elected MCAs were demanding to get Sh41.5 million each for ward development, while the 13 nominated ward reps were allocated Sh500,000 each as “appreciation” for supporting the proposal.

Samboja said such allocations must be approved by the Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee and has threatened to dissolve the county government.

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Raila was upset that continuous disagreements are killing devolution in various counties.

“It's unfortunate that devolution does not serve its intended purpose. I have addressed these issues in many forums across counties like Nairobi, Kisumu, Mandera Siaya and Mombasa, ” Raila regretted.

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He accused MCAs of blackmailing governors during budget-making processes with selfish demands.

“The county legislature has been abusing their role of oversight and take over the process of budgeting, this happens every year. When budgets come, the MCAs push for Constituency Ward Development Fund which they want to control,” Raila said.

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Opposition leader Raila OdingaGovernor Granton SambojaTaita Taveta County