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December 10, 2018

Governor Godhana sued over plans to relocate Tana River headquarters

Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana (C) receives the county flag after he was sworn in office, Hola stadium, August 21. /ALPHONCE GARI
Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana (C) receives the county flag after he was sworn in office, Hola stadium, August 21. /ALPHONCE GARI

Two residents of Tana River have sued their Governor and the county assembly over plans to relocate the Headquarters from Hola town to Dayate.

Suleiman Abarufa Komora and Lakicha Hassan Elema have filed a constitutional petition at the High Court in Malindi seeking to stop Governor Dhadho Godhana and the county assembly from moving the county capital from Hola.

Through lawyer Duncan Okubasu, the two petitioners say the respondents have decided to relocate the headquarters to Dayate sub-county without consulting residents.

Dayate is within Wayu ward, a few kilometres west of Hola town.

Okubasu said the application was extremely urgent as the decision is contrary to Article 10 and 201 of the Constitution and Section 87 of the County Government Act.

Article 10 (c) of the Constitution binds all state organs, state officers, public officers, and all persons whenever any of them makes or implements public policy decisions while Article 201(a) says there shall be openness and accountability, including public participation in financial matters.

Okubasu further said the plans to relocate the headquarters will cost an estimated Sh800 million, adding that this was against the principles set out in sections 3 and 102 of the Public Finance Management Act.

The petition was received at the Malindi High Court on November 29, 2018, and served to the office of the Governor the same day.

Governor Godhana has been campaigning for the relocation of the county quarters arguing that Hola Town in its present status cannot be re-planned to accommodate his vision of transformative urbanization.

He has likened Hola Town to an old wineskin that could burst if new wine (his urbanization dream) is poured into it.

The National Government has already allocated Sh200 million for the construction of the new offices, a project that Godhana says will cost close to Sh850 million when completed.

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