Kibwana threatens to cut ties with errant MCAs

Governor to side-step rebellious ward reps by using grassroots teams to plan development.

Monday February 29 2016

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana interacts with pupils at Makueni Primary School on January 28, 2016 after distributing text books. He has designed a new system of governance which he will ignore MCAs opposed to his leadership.  PHOTO: PIUS MAUNDU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana interacts with pupils at Makueni Primary School on January 28, 2016 after distributing text books. He has designed a new system of governance which he will ignore MCAs opposed to his leadership. PHOTO: PIUS MAUNDU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PIUS MAUNDU
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A fresh storm has hit Makueni County after Governor Kivutha Kibwana designed a new system of governance through which he will ignore MCAs opposed to his leadership and work directly with the people.

Touted by the executive as the panacea for sustainable development, the system will see committees set up to coordinate development from the villages all the way to the county level.

On Wednesday, Prof Kibwana threatened to cut ties with ‘uncooperative’ MCAs he accused of fighting his administration and instead use the network of village development volunteers administer the county.

“In wards where MCAs have failed to work with the executive to develop their areas, I will side-step them and work directly with residents,” said a tough-talking Kibwana who spoke at Kiteei Primary School in Makueni Constituency where he distributed 25,000 text books to 1,572 nursery schools in the area.

(READ: Kibwana puts MCAS on notice)

“I am surprised that some MCAs have dwelled on deflating my administration instead of fostering development and addressing issues troubling their electorate,” Prof Kibwana told the audience who included the area MCA Francis Mutungi.

He added: “I will visit some of the wards to inform the residents that their elected leaders have abandoned them and pledge to work with them directly.”

And the governor’s new move has already drawn the ire of a section of MCAs, mainly those opposed to his administration, who have vowed to frustrate the newly formed development committees.

Prof Kibwana’s comments came against a backlash on the installation of the village governance structure.

MCA'S READING MALICE

Some MCAs said they are reading malice in the system that will see the public directly participate in designing and executing development with the help of the committees.

Some have argued the executive is installing the village committees to ensure MCAs opposed to the governor are not re-elected in next year.

A team of MCAs, led by deputy speaker Bernard Musau have vowed to frustrate the village administrators.

Mr Musau termed the development committees agents of the executive on a mission “to help the governor and his team to come back to power.”

Subsequently, Mr Musau called upon the MCAs “to be extra vigilant to understand the funny things that are happening in their areas”.

Ivingoni/Nzambani Ward Representative Cosmas Nzilili questioned the legality of the grassroots development committees. 

“We have not created the grassroots committees as envisaged in the County Government Act yet we want to create the amorphous eleven-member village committees that are not recognized in the Act,” said Mr Nzilili.

Mr Musau and Mr Nzilili claimed Prof Kibwana wants to use the village committees to campaign for his re-election ahead of the August 2017 General Election.

But Mr Wambua Kawive, the devolution executive, said the governance structure, in its third week, is pro-people and should be supported.

He praised the new system as the epitome of devolution adding it is envisaged in the Constitution.

“It is a pro-people system that enables the community to identify development priorities and monitor projects to ensure they conform to their expectations,” Mr Kawive told the Nation on Sunday.

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