By Abraham Kiplangat Mutai
- Devolution as enshrined in the constitution has heralded a revolutionary system of governance that has enhanced locals’ participation in decision making on matters affecting them, service delivery and development.
- Kenyans including the people of Isiolo who have been marginalized by previous centralized regimes of governance eagerly waited for the benefits of the county government. To the people of Isiolo and many other Kenyans Devolution promises a solution to correct deficiencies in the post independence governance framework, which was premised upon the highly centralized system of governance and an end to marginalization.
- The constitution thus created institutions to safeguard and protect devolution to ensure its objectives and principles are achieved. The Senate is one key institution created to protect devolution which Kenyans overwhelmingly voted for.
- After the 2013 general election, Isiolo County elected its Senator and fortunately was rewarded with a nominated senator. This fact was celebrated by locals in the believe that they have two representative in the upper House of Senate tasked with the role to protect the interests of Counties and the County Governments as stipulated in Article 96(1).
- Little did they know that this will haunt them to undermine their county and county Government contrary to the provisions of the constitution? The two senators conspired with Governor to plan, entrench and implement their personal interests at the expense development and service delivery objectives as envisaged in the constitution.
- The governance challenges facing Isiolo County Assembly has been hatched and propagated by the three leaders with the aim to frustrate execution of its functions, achieve their personal interests and undermine transparent and accountability leadership. They represent remnant of leadership under the old constitution where the leaders dictate to the masses without due regard for the law.
THE FOLLOWING IS THE CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS:
- Since inception, the County Assembly and the Executive have been working together harmoniously devoid of any hitches, despite the teething problems that came with the advent of devolved government.
- The County Assembly has been discharging its constitutional mandate effectively beyond reproach and more so it’s been working in tandem with the Executive organ of the County government under the leadership of the Speaker within the confine of law.
- The County Assembly vetted and approved the County Executive committee Members, Chief Officers and County Public Service Board Members. The Assembly also passed the Appropriation and Finance Bill (2013/2014) within the Constitutional deadlines.
- Members of the County Assembly have been attending both plenary and Committee sittings religiously and at the same time executing the cardinal role of oversight on the Executive while respecting the doctrine of separation of power.
- For instance on 7thJanuary, 2014, the Governor made announcement nominating, appointing and promoting over 70 individuals to public offices in the County without the appointees being subjected to the principles of competitive sourcing, thorough vetting and interview by the County Public Service Board. The list was skewed in favour of the Governor and the two Senators.
- The Assembly established a committee to investigate the Governor’s appointment, promotions and nominations which included Chief Officers, Directors, Ward Administrators and promotion of Rangers. 0700342367
- The report of the committee was unanimously adopted by the Assembly to reject the list of all illegally appointed public officers by the Governor,Godana Doyo in collusion with two Senators;Mohamed Abdi Kuti (Elected) & Sen. FatumaDullo Adan (Nominated). Unfortunately, the two senators & the Governor blamed the Speaker for the decision of the County Assembly.
- April this year, the Executive made a request to the Assembly for the approval of supplementary budget of Kshs. 121 Million to alleviate famine in drought-stricken areas. As a show of patriotism and leadership, the supplementary budget was passed by the Assembly. However, the Assembly later found out that the approved funds was grossly misappropriated by the Executive organ of the County government headed by the Governor.
- Towards the end of May, some Members of the County Assembly were taken by flight to Flamingo Beach Hotel, Mombasa for five days fully sponsored by the Executive in the name of preparing of County Budget.Members were offered fringe benefits in form of cash and promised more goodies so that they impeach the Speaker. From that very day, the two Senators and the Governor hatched a scheme to remove the Speaker from the office.
- This scheme to remove the Speaker was well planned considering that the County Assembly Service Board chaired by the Speaker has shortlisted and invited candidates to fill positions in the County Assembly staff establishment from the Clerk to the Office Assistant. The interview was to run from 5th June, 2014 to 16th June, 2014.
- On 3rd June, 2014 the Assembly was re-opened and Members of the County Assembly arrived from Mombasa with a sinister motive of removing the Speaker from the office.
- From the onset when the positions were advertised, the two Senators; Mohamed Abdi Kuti (Elected) FatumaDullo (nominated), and the Governor, Godana Doyo have been canvassing vigorously for the position of the clerk for one particular candidate by the name, TURE BORU MADO through some members of the County Assembly.
- Senator Hon. FatumaDullo was ravenously passionate about the candidature of one TureBoru. To her, it was a matter of life and death. She lobbied with utmost zeal and enthusiasm for her preferred candidate, but the County Assembly Service Board blatantly refused her illegal maneuvers. That was when she began crafting dangerous schemes of dividing the County Assembly into factions and heaping blames on the Chairman of the County Assembly Service Board; the Speaker.
- On 6th June, 2014, 16 Members of the County Assembly were ferried to a Hotel in Ngara, Nairobi without express permission of the Speaker. They were hosted and bankrolled by one Sen. FatumaDullo Adan together with Sen. Mohamed Abdi Kuti and the Governor.
- The sole agenda of Senator FatumaDullo was to ensure that the position of the Clerk of the County Assembly must be given to her predetermined applicant regardless of the results of the interview conducted by the County Assembly Service Board while the primary agenda of the Governor was that, the Speaker must be removed before the scandal of the supplementary budget goes viral and become a dossier to him.
- On 10th June, 2014, Members were taken to a Hotel in Meru and given more money to work on modalities of impeaching the Speaker. They absented themselves from Assembly sitting without express permission from the Speaker.
- The interview went on smoothly but when the results of the interview filtered in unofficially, situations in the County Assembly nose-dived southwards and things were never the same again.
- The results of the interview conducted by the County Assembly Service Board were as follows;
Salad BoruGuracha- 73.75
- FatumaDullo strongly insisted that the position of the Clerk must be given to the second person in the interview owing to her relations to the candidate, notwithstanding meritocracy. She was supported in her schemes by Senator, Mohamed Abdi Kuti and the Governor.
- On 11th of June, the faction of County Assembly members allied to Sen. Fatuma Adan Dullo, Sen. Mohamed Abdi Kuti and Governor Godana Doyo brought the notice of motion to remove the Speaker to the office of the Clerk which was received and transmitted to the Speaker’s Office which was approved by the Speaker. The Speaker immediately called for the County Assembly House Business Committee at 5.pm on the same day. The County Assembly Members allied to the Senators and the Governor refused to turn up for the meeting. The meeting was postponed due to lack of quorum and was slated for Friday, 13thJune, 9.00 am.
- On 12th of June, 2014 Some Members of County Assembly were ferried from Meru Hotel straight to chamber with a sole agenda of removing the Speaker. There were two Order Papers circulated, one of the Order Paper (which was not even classified as Supplementary) was improperly placed before the Plenary without adhering to the provisions of the Standing Order, County Government Act and the Constitution of Kenya. The Speaker adjourned the sittings. After the Speaker adjourned the sittings of that day, the Mace was taken out of the Chamber by the Sergeant at-arms and a scuffle erupted among Members of the Assembly.
- Later some Members of the County Assembly organized an ad hoc conference alleging that they have removed the Speaker and declared him persona non-grata within the precincts of the chamber and office. This is despite no votes was cast to remove the Speaker in accordance to provisions of the Standing Order, County Government Act and the Constitution of Kenya
- The speaker went to High court in Meru and was reinstated viaexparteorder on 16th of June, 2014 (case No. 15, Meru, High Court). From there on wards, the two Senators and the Governor gave specific instructions to some of the County Assembly Member not to obey the Court Order and also not to attend both plenary and Committee sittings as long as the reinstated Speaker is in charge. Nominated Members were threatened that if they attend the sittings, their seats will be revoked.
- On 26th of June, 2014, the same factions of the County Assembly Members and the County Secretary proceeded to file another case at the Court of Appeal in Nyeri, while they were given opportunity for an inter-party hearing at the Meru High Court.
- The Court of appeal in Nyeri(Civil application case N0. 17) was disposed off on 23th of July, 2014 by the appellate Judges on the ground that “the matter is still pending for inter-party hearing in the High Court, it is inappropriate use of our limited resources to engage both levels of courts, the High Court and the Court of appeal at this early stage. That would be an abuse of court process”. They were not satisfied by the court of appeal decision.
- On 23rd of July after the dismissal of their appeal at Nyeri, the disgruntled Members of the Assembly convened a meeting in Nanyuki together with the Governor and Sen. FatumaDullo and resolved to paralyze office of the Speaker by ejecting the County Assembly Interim staff among other resolutions via the resolution addressed to the County Secretary of 24th July, 2014.
- They also resolved to establish a parallel Assembly leadership illegally. They identified an officer from the defunct county council as the acting Clerk in due disregard of the Board,s decision and NuraDiba as Leader of Majority in due disregard of Court order barring the Speaker and the Clerk from interference with the office of Leader of Majority.
- The paralysis resulted in the failure of plenary sittings on Wednesday 29th July, 2014 and Thursday 30th July, 2014 respectively. On Tuesday, 5th August, 2014, the disgruntled MCAs locked the Speaker, Temporary Clerk and Hansard officer out at the gate, attempted to hold an illegitimate sitting and paralysed entire County Government operation by locking the gate until the County Commissioner intervened.
- They went further and filed another petition at Milimani High Court, in Nairobi, Petition No. 418 of 2014 (in the matter of contravention of chapter six of the Constitution and integrity of the Speaker), that the decision to reinstate the Speaker be rescinded, that the Speaker employed a member of his family and also allegedly appointed his brother an Acting Clerk.
- However, the said Acting Clerk was an officer deployed as HansardEditor by the Transition Authority. When the interim Clerk secured a job elsewhere, County Assembly Service Board Members appointed the Hansard Editor to be in an acting capacity temporarily until the Board gave further direction. That was the decisions of the County Assembly Service Board vide CASB Minutes of 30th June, 2014 based on merits in the circumstances.
- From 30th of June to 22nd July, 2014 there was no any concern raised by the Members of the County Assembly over the temporary appointment of the said acting Clerk. On 22nd July, 2014 one of the County Assembly Member (NuraDiba-Sericho Ward representative) raise a point of order on the floor of the Assembly claiming that there was ‘stranger’ on the table of the Clerk but the Speaker invoked Standing Order 2 (1).
- The artificial paralysis created in the County Assembly by those elected to serve did not miss the attention of the voters. Hence, aggrieved Voters/Petitioners from different wards have sued some Members of the County Assembly (both elected and nominated) for failing to execute their mandates of legislation, representation and oversight on the executive. The Matter will be heard on 28th of October, 2014.
- On 30th September, the first issue of the case on rescinding the reinstatement of the Speaker filed at Milimani High Court was dismissed with cost and the rulings of the remaining of other allegations will be heard on 13th of October, 2014.
ARBITRATIONS AND DISPUTE RESOLUTIONS
- Traditional institutions on dispute resolutions was deployed by elders to bring a truce between the Speaker, the Governor and the two senators was organized twice in June but the Governor out rightly rejected saying that for peace to prevail the Speaker has to go.
- Local religious leaders/Sheikhs/Imams attempted to bring the warring factions but still the Governor stood to his ground.
- On 7th August, 2014 attempt by the Office of the President bore no fruits as the Governor was out of the Country at that time. The Meeting was chaired by the then Principal Secretary for Internal Security. All the leaders were present except the Governor and therefore no meaningful resolutions was arrived at as the Senator Mohamed Abdi Kuti insisted for the postponement of the meeting to a later date until when the Governor is available. Ironically the Deputy Governor was present in the meeting.
- On 13th October, 2014, the Senate Committee on devolution Chaired by ElgeyoMarakwet Senator, Hon. KipchumbaMurkomen tried to bring the warring factions of the Assembly together and urged the Assembly to settle the matter out of court. However, the Senate Committee to date have not tabled any report.
- Late December a meeting was organized by office of the President, Chaired by Chief Of Staff Joseph Kinyua bore no fruit as the Governor reneged on the agreement to unlock the stalemate on the passing of supplementary budget. Up to-date the County has not passed and approved the budget as the Governor proves to be crafty, cunning & indecisive
Since then there were sustained acts of blatant and flagrant abuse of law openly displayed at the County offices and in particular at the County Assembly offices and by extension to the staff of the Assembly every other day.
Unfortunately both the Executive and the County Assembly occupy the same buildings as assigned by the Committee on assumption of office headed by the Transition Authority Coordinator and County Commissioner after the General elections of March, 2013 on temporary basis as a result of lack of space. The two institutions thus share the same building, main gate, security details, walking path and parking yard.
This insanity has been going on for more than 4 months where acts of lawlessness, disorder, chaos, mayhem and pandemonium are the daily affairs of the County. We are not in a banana republic where laws are deliberately broken by state officers and ironically supervised and superintended by law enforcement agencies.
To the best of our knowledge and understanding, numerous attempts for interventions specifically from the police was sought by the head of the County Assembly (Speaker), Leader of Majority and County Assembly Members but unfortunately all that was an exercise in futility. As a law abiding citizens with full understanding of matrix of law, the entire County was in a state of anarchy.
The salient underlying reason given by the police officers was; “It is order from above given specifically by the Officer Commanding Station, the Officer Commanding Police Division”
Pursuant to the provisions of Article 176 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, which states; “There shall be a County Government of each County consisting of a County Assembly and a County Executive” meaning these are two distinct organs where the Executive is headed by the Governor working through the County Secretary as a Chief Executive Officer and the Assembly is headed by the Speaker working through the County Assembly Clerk. We are putting emphasis to this to demonstrate what otherwise seems to be a misconception that the County Assembly is an appendage or an annex of the Executive supervised by the County Secretary which is not only absurd but a blatant breach of the doctrine of separation of power.
ABSOLUTE STATE OF ANARCHY
The County was in state of complete paralysis and anarchy spearheaded by the two Senators and the Governor. The following is a chronology of acts of lawlessness, showbiz and theatrics out rightly supervised by the law enforcement agencies with the blessings of the two Senators and the Governor;
- The offices of County Assembly were broken into and, vandalized, and door locks replaced.
- County Assembly Staffs have been locked out of their offices in total disregard of the rule of law.
- Much worse high court orders were disobeyed at will, these tantamount to contempt of court order (willful failure to obey an order of the court). All these illegal acts happened in full glare of police officers attached there headed by one IP. Okoth.
- On 12/13 June, 2014, Speaker’s office was vandalized and files containing official documents such as, Assembly registers, votes and proceedings of the Assembly as well as Applications and interview documents were stolen.
- The matter was reported to the Isiolo County police stations vide OB No. OB16/13/6/2014 at precisely 1005HRS up-to-date, almost 4 Months down the line, no semblance of investigations and a tinge of actions was taken up by the Police.
- Several attempts to get justice over the criminal acts from the security organ (The Police) bore no fruit. In fact, they candidly said, “Police cannot be involved in politics of County Government”, it was absurd and hard to believe to hear such unfortunate sentiments from the very people entrusted by the citizenry to enforce law and order. Such attitude negates Kenya Police Service motto; ‘Utumishikwawote’ which means ‘Service to all’. Breaking into and ransacking a public office is a crime punishable under the law of the land and wishing it away as politics is abetting and condoning crime.
- After a few days, the office of Majority leader suffered the same fate and to-date nobody has been apprehended or even summoned for questioning despite the obvious lead of a name emblazoned on the door. The matter was again reported and booked Isiolo Police
- On 24rd July, 2014 four rogue Members of the County Assembly, forcefully barricaded the door to the Assembly offices denying the staff entry into the offices under the full watch of a contingent of police officers superintended by Officer Commanding Station.
- The same day again in full view of police officers, the office of Leader of Majority was broken into, door locks changed and name plate was plucked off and replaced with another name of the County Assembly Member in total disregard of a High Court Order.
- On the same day of 23rd July, 2014, Speaker’s official vehicle in the parking yard was deliberately blocked by a county tractor with the express order from a county official to barricade the car so that the Speaker does not have access to use it.
- On the same day another County Assembly vehicle KBU 909T had all tyres deflated and the following day all the tyres were removed in full view of the police.
- On 24th July, 2014, all staffs of County Assembly were denied access through the main gate by security officers manning the gate via a written order from a county Secretary.
Since then the entire operations of the County the Assembly was paralyzed by the police reinforced by game rangers recalled from the game reserve to frustrate the normal sittings of the Assembly and County Assembly Service Board who were to interview the invited applicants of the new personnel. Orders were also given to the police not only to chase away the applicants but also to clobber them so that they do not attend the interview.
Game rangers from game reserves were recalled from their core duty of protecting County’s heritage (fauna & flora conservation) to offer reinforcement to the police to stop the Speaker, Leader of the majority, some County Assembly Members and all staff of the Assembly from accessing their offices including precincts of the County Assembly building.
- It is worth noting the Executive organ of the County government has never presented any legislative proposal for enactment by the County Assembly despite request by the Members of the County Assembly.
- County Assembly members have been booked at Five star Hotel severally to sustain the fight, recent case being Pan Africa Hotel-Nairobi.
- The Governor and the senators have invested heavily in the conflict afflicting the County Assembly since towards the end of May, 2014. These negative efforts have irredeemably collapsed county operations and service delivery thereby dampening the hope and aspirations of the locals on the promises of devolution.
- This thus beg the question on What moral ground was the mover of this motion requesting for adjournment of the House to intervene in the Isiolo wrangling, when she was the master mind of the problem bedeviling the entire County?
- Did the mover of the motion declare her interest on this matter before she was allowed to proceed? Did she declare her role or intervention as a leader from the County in the problem?
- When the motion was moved by Senator FatumaDullo Adan on that particular Thursday, 7 Members of the County Assembly were at the Public Gallery of the Senate while the County Assembly was in session thereby crippling the Business of the Assembly. They had no express permission from the Speaker
- Three other Members of the County Assembly were sent to Uganda on the same day and their trip was fully sponsored by the Executive and yet the Speaker was not informed
I REST MY CASE.