IEBC receives Taita Taveta signatures
By George Kebaso and Reuben Mwambingu
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) yesterday received a petition seeking the dissolution of the troubled Taita Taveta County.
Governor Granton Samboja, who last week survived an impeachment attempt after the Senate dismissed a motion by the County Assembly, started the process of winding up the county more than three months ago following disagreements with Members of the County Assembly.
Chairman Wafula Chebukati confirmed receipt of the petition, saying the Office of President had approached IEBC to verify the 155,000 signatures presented by Principal Administrative Secretary Kennedy Kihara.
“As the official body which has the custody of voters and signatures of the voters’ register, OP approached us to verify those signatures for the purposes of identifying whether they are genuine voters,” Chebukati said.
He said the commission will take five days to establish the authenticity of the signatures.
Kihara said he had been instructed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to deliver the signatures and names of petitioners to the IEBC for verification as required by law.
“The President has received a petition from voters in Taita Taveta and the request to dissolve the county. Therefore, we are here to present the signatures and names of petitioners because IEBC is the custodian of the names and ID cards for verification,” he said.
In July, Samboja initiated the process to dissolve the county following a long-standing disagreement with MCAs over resource allocation.
On October 9, the County Assembly passed an impeachment motion against the governor for alleged gross misconduct.
But last week, the Senate dismissed the motion, saying the allegations against the governor did not meet the threshold for impeachment.
“The committee, having investigated the matter in accordance with its mandate under Section 33(4) of the County Government Act and Standing Order 75(2) of the Senate Standing Order, reports to the Senate that it finds none of the particulars of the allegations against the governor were proved or substantiated,” reads the report.
And yesterday, Samboja sent several County Executive Committee (CECs) members and other officials packing in a reshuffle that saw former Wundanyi MP Mwandawiro Mghanga picked to head the Lands, Mining and Housing docket.
The Governor also sacked his Chief of Staff Philemon Mwaisaka and Economic Advisor Sylvester Mwaliko.
Education executive Frank Mwangemi and his Public works and Transport counterpart Houghton Mombo were axed in the changes.
He nominated Mlawasi Andrew Kubo as Finance CEC and Margaret Righa as Trade, Tourism, Gender, Culture and Cooperatives chief.
Samboja also announced nominations of Cromwell Mwakirungu to head the Health services docket and Daniel Makoko to replace Mwangemi as new Education, Libraries and ICT executive.
He said of more changes will affect various sectors in the administration.
“The governor wishes to inform the members of the public that more changes affecting County Executives, Advisors, County Chief Officers and Directors will follow shortly,” Director of Communication Dennis Onsarigo said in a statement.