PRESIDENT'S TURN

IEBC approves petition to dissolve Taita Taveta county

Move supported by 21, 862 registered voters, meeting the legal threshold.

In Summary

• The President to act after receiving the report from the commission.

• The Senate might choose to authorise the suspension or decline.

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja (R) on Wednesday, November 6, 2019.
Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja (R) on Wednesday, November 6, 2019.
Image: SOLOMON MUINGI

The electoral commission has verified the signatures of petitioners seeking to dissolve Taita Taveta county, chairperson Wafula Chebukati has said. 

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Wednesday said the petition was supported by 21, 862 registered voters, meeting the legal threshold.

The commission received 39,300 signatures, of which 3,686 were duplicate.

During the verification, the commission noted that 7,073 were not in the register of voters, while 5,899 were not from the county.

The petition will proceed to the President who will gauge its suitability.

According to Section 192 of the Constitution, the President needs to be satisfied that the allegations are justified and the Senate has authorised the suspension.

The Senate might choose to authorise the suspension or not.

Chebukati's announcement comes as Governor Granton Samboja and MCAs buried the hatchet on Wednesday and agreed to work together.

The agreement brought to an end a four-month standoff and Samboja assented to the Sh5.7 billion 2019-20 financial year budget.

Last week, the commission confirmed that it received a list and signatures of supporters petitioning the dissolution of the county government of Taita Taveta.

The list was received from the Office of the President through Principal Administrative Secretary, Kennedy Kihara, and Regulatory Compliance secretary, Jasper Mbiuki.

The governor and MPs from the county had earlier said that the future of the devolved unit lied with President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

Samboja explained that mediation efforts to bring the executive and assembly to an understanding had not yielded fruit, even with the intervention of various stakeholders.