Taita Taveta County now stares at dissolution after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Wednesday approved a petition seeking its suspension.
In a statement, Wafula Chebukati, the commission chairman stated that the petition met the required threshold of support from at least 10 per cent of the registered voters in the county.
According to Chebukati, the petition was supported by 21,861 registered voters.
There are 155,000 voters in Taita Taveta with the law requiring signatures from at least 10 per cent of the total voters translating to 15,500 signatures.
The petition will now be forwarded to President Uhuru Kenyatta who will submit a report on grounds to suspend the county to the apex intergovernmental body, which comprises of the President and all governors, within 14 days.
Upon approval from the apex body, the President shall appoint a commission to inquire into the matter.
Then the findings will be tabled at the Senate which will vote on the fate of the County.
In July, Governor Granton Samboja signed a memorandum to initiate the petition to dissolve the county over the 2019-2020 budget stalemate with Members of County Assembly (MCAs).
Chebukati’s statement, however, comes at a time the Taita Taveta ward representatives have buried the hatchet and agreed to work together with Samboja.
The governor assented to the supplementary budget estimates forwarded to him by the county assembly on Wednesday. This brings to an end a four-month-long standoff.
The governor had declined to approve the budget after the MCAs slashed the executive’s allocations and instead directed the money – Ksh833 million – to the ward development fund.
He said the MCAs slashed the county budget estimates, hence denying county government development.
This led to his impeachment which was recently overturned by the senate.
30 MCAs on October 9 unanimously voted in favour of a special motion moved by Rong’e MCA Harris Keke after a four-hour debate over alleged gross misconduct.
The Senate committee that was formulated to probe the decision by the Members of County Assembly (MCAs) dismissed the impeachment saying allegations raised against the governor were not substantiated.
With the new developments, the petition might be suspended.