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Two county bosses back governor Kibwana

NAIROBI
By Philip Muasya | June 10th 2015

Two governors yesterday stood in solidarity with their embattled counterpart Kivutha Kibwana as he took the witness stand for a third day during his testimony at a commission probing a petition to suspend his government.

Marsabit Governor Ukur Yattani, who is the Chief Whip of the Council of Governors (CoG) and his Kitui counterpart Julius Malombe attended the proceedings at the county Early Childhood Technical Training Institute in Wote town where they promised the council will respect the verdict of the commission.

Mr Yattani, who represented the CoG Chairman Governor Peter Munya, said the council is in support of the wishes of Makueni residents, who signed the petition to dissolve the county government.

They appealed to the Mohamed Nyaoga-led commission to do proper investigations and deliver a verdict that will be acceptable to all parties.

They, however, said they were worried by the precedent being set in Makueni which is under the threat of dissolution yet Kenyans had high hopes in devolution.

"As members of CoG, we are worried by the threat to dissolve a county government yet people are eagerly waiting for service delivery.

"The executive arm of the county governments and the county assemblies should be able to dialogue in an environment where reason prevails," Dr Malombe said in a press briefing after the proceedings adjourned for lunch break.

Joined at hip

Dr Malombe said the two arms were "joined at the hip" and if one pulled in the wrong direction, it would drag the other down the drain.

While being cross examined by Charles Njenga, the counsel for the county assembly, on why he stormed the assembly premises during a leaders' meeting on September 23, 2014 without invitation, Kibwana said he felt he needed to be present because he is the foremost leader in the county.

"That meeting was not held in good faith. The issues to be discussed were about resolving the leadership crisis in Makueni so I had every reason to attend," said Kibwana.

He added that the gun drama that followed soon after his entry into the assembly left him scared saying it largely led to the collapse of the relationship between the two arms of the county administration.

The governor continues with his testimony today.

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