• Suleiman Abarufa Komora and Lakicha Hassan Elem challenged relocation of the headquarters on grounds there was no public participation and it was wasteful.
• But Sh800 million construction will be financed and supervised by the national government, not the poor county.
The Garsen High Court has allowed Tana River county to construct new Sh800 million headquarters despite allegations of wasted resources and lack of public participation.
It will be funded by the national government, not the poor county.
Justice Lagat Korir declined to declare the construction decision null and void. He ordered the county to sensitise residents on the fact the project in Dayate area is to be financed and supervised by the state.
The county is operating in a temporary structure.
Two residents had sought a declaration that the decision to relocate headquarters from Hola town to any other place was illegal and void. They said it was outside the county budget and outside the budget and integrated plan.
Petitioners Suleiman Komora and Lakicha Elem also said there was no public participation in the decision.
“It would cost approximately Sh800 million, violating the principle of prudent use of resources," they said.
They said 60 per cent of the population lives in abject poverty and the county only collected Sh300 million revenue in four years.
Alleviating poverty with Sh800 million is more important than building new headquarters, they argued.
The county government said construction was a national government project and therefore was not part of the County Integrated Development Plan.
It said it did not inherit county offices and it was forced to erect temporary structures on a quarter acre owned by the national government in Hola,
“Construction of the headquarters is financed and supervised by the National Government department of Public Works under the Kenya Urban Support Programme,” the county said.
The county also denied lack of public participation.
The two had sued Governor Dhadho Godhana, the county government and assembly.
(Edited by V. Graham)