Leaders call for end to row on Taita Taveta budget

Politicians have called on Governor Granton Samboja and ward reps to end a standoff that could lead to the dissolution of the Taita Taveta county government. 

Former Governor John Mruttu (pictured), former senator Dan Mwanzo, former Woman Rep Joyce Lay, ex-MPs Callistus Mwatela (Mwatate) and Thomas Mwadeghu (Wundanyi) said they supported efforts by religious leaders to initiate dialogue to end the stalemate between the governor and the ward reps.

“To ensure continuity of government services, the two parties should agree to pass the vote which allows 50 per cent recurrent expenditure,” said the leaders in a statement.

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Governor Samboja rejected the 2019-20 budget estimates after ward reps slashed the executive budget and allocated Sh833 million to a ward development fund.

Samboja has already initiated a process to have the county dissolved, accusing the ward reps of trying to hold his administration hostage.

Last week, Samboja dismissed calls for dialogue, saying his push to have the county dissolved was still on. 

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Veteran leaders

“There are those who signed the petition for me and the ward reps to go home. The petitioners must also be considered and should not be disregarded,” said the governor. 

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Speaking yesterday, veteran political leaders from the region said it was high time the two sides ended the dispute.

“They warring factions should embrace dialogue before embarking on the dissolution of the county government,” said the leaders in a joint statement released in Mombasa.

The leaders threw their support behind religious and other community leaders who are calling for dialogue between the governor and the ward reps.

Leaders drawn from the Anglican Church of Kenya, Pentecostal churches, the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims and Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) have offered to mediate the budget dispute so that normal county business can resume.

The religious leaders claimed that Samboja has, on many occasions, snubbed their meetings.

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