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Friday, 14 October 2011

The Anchor October 2011: Makueni County Council

Syokati elected  Makueni Council
Boss as County Clerk is removed

By Daniel Kituku

The elections of chairmanship and various council committees of County Council  Makueni were finally held  after the High Court quashed a court order filed last month  and another order early this month by a section of councilors stopping the elections.

The order to stop the elections was filled by cllr. Christopher Kathae, cllr. Jackson Ngovi and cllr. Besley Mathuku who suffered a blow on the face after all the orders were challenged through lawyers by the camp that took over the council.

 The elections  held in the presence of Eastern Provincial Local Authority Mr. Government Nelson Rop and  presided over by the Deputy Clerk Robert Mwalu after the Council Clerk Maina Gathura failed to turn up. It took the internvention of the Permanent Secretary for Local Government Mr. Karega Mutai to instruct the Administrator to the council to conduct the elections.

Mr Gathura soon found himself in trouble as PS Karega Mutahi interdicted him and replaced him with Mr Mwalu.

A section of councilors allied to the outgoing chairman Bernard Musau never turned up for the elections but were seen within the council premises and the nearby town  which saw councilor Allois Muia Mwaiwa  alias Syokati of Emali/Mulala ward elected unopposed as the new and possibly as the last chairman of the County Council of Makueni.

Tensions were high after the clerk failed to report on duty however the provincial local authority boss with consultations from the  ministry’s headquarters ordered the council’s deputy clerk to preside over the elections through the permanent secretary.

The fate for election of the council chairman and other committees had  hanged in the balance after expiry of August 15 2011 Councils’ deadline to hold elections set by the Ministry of Local Government, after a Section of Councilors allied to the out going chairman councilor Bernard Musau obtained a court order to stop the county council election.

 The council election war saw the council split to  two factions of councilors, one group led by out going chairman with about 12 councilors while the other group which fronted  by Mr Mwaiwa enjoying the majority of over 37 councilors.

  As the elections went on most council offices were closed as the councilors conducted the election under presence of heavy security officers from Makueni police station deployed at the council in anticipation of a possible chaos but the councilors locked out the police officers out of the council compound.

 With the other faction of 12 councilors including the outgoing chairman declining to turn up for election only 40 councilors participated.

 Councilor Bernard Kiswii was elected the Vice Chairman, Councilor Francis Musso Mutuku Finance Chairman, deputized by Councilor Urtanus Nganda, Councilor John Katete for Town Planning, Councilor Oscar Kalia for Education, Works and Housing, while Wildlife and Natural Resources, chairman is Councilor Nelson Masilia.

 The new chairman for Public Health committee is Councilor Magdalena Nduku Mulwa  while the council’s Environmental Committee chairman is Bromile Mang’oka. The audit chairman went to councilor Patrick Kivale and finally the HIV/AIDS committee shall be heeded by Richard Kiilu.

Addressing the public who witnessed the elections from the gallery, Mr  Mwaiwa promised to settle the boundary dispute with neighbours Taita Taveta and the famous Malili where the ICT Centre is expected to be  adding that he will ensure that boundaries are laid down as per the original for Makueni district as in 1992.

 He promised a transparent and accountable leadership and urged the other newly elected officials to work together to ensure that all projects initiated by the council in various wards are completed. ‘’ we are going to clean up this council and make it better.’’ Alois Mwaiwa said.

 Mwaiwa  who was elected for the second time after he lost in 2008 takes over from Bernard Musau who has served as the town council chairman for four years.

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