NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has termed as outright “hearsay and rumours” allegations that he is behind an attempt to dissolve the County Government and the County Assembly of Mombasa on grounds of unspecified reasons as claimed by the Senator Mohammed Fakii.
Joho who was responding to claims made by Fakii in a Senate committee on Monday that he had sponsored some lobby groups to collect signatures to dissolve the operations of the county, dismissed the allegations, which were not backed by evidence.
“I find it very hard that I will respond to basically nothing. I demand that evidence be produced where the county leadership has said that the operations of the county should be dissolved. Someone has to give me tangible evidence,” he said.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei had earlier claimed that over 50,000 signatures had been collected to dissolve Joho’s administration and the County Assembly, statements which Joho dismissed.
Infuriated by the direction the deliberations were taking, particularly on lack of supporting documents to substantiate the assertions, Joho questioned the Senators why they were dwelling too much on what he described as “issues which were not of benefit to Kenyans.”
“Mr Chairman there are other crucial issues like that of the current starvation facing some Kenyans, issues of corruption and many other vital issues that I believe this honourable House can use its time to deliberate,” he said.
During the Senate Devolution Inter-Governmental Committee session, Joho dismissed claims that he had fallen out with some members of the County Assembly over what is reported to be a feud arising by the failure of some of his Executive members failing to honour invites by the assembly to discuss the county affairs.
According to Fakii, some members of Joho’s Executive team particularly the Transport County Executive Member Mohammed Tawfiq Balala, Edward Nyale (Lands) and Kevin Kyalo (Youth, Gender and Sports) had on numerous occasions defied the assembly’s invite to appear before it to shed light on the affairs touching on their dockets.
This, Fakii, said, was among the reasons that prompted the escalation of the clash between Joho who is accused by the County Assembly members of protecting his “under performing” ministers.
Joho who was dismayed by the allegations told the Joseph Kinyua (Laikipia)-led committee that his Executive has never been invited, especially the accused Executive members.
“The only invite I recall is that of one of my Chief Officer for Transport and Infrastructure who was invited to shed more light on certain issues and of which I opted to request the assembly to allow me to go before it to discuss about their concerns because they were raising broad issues,” he said.
Joho categorically said he would not accept to be intimidated by the ward representatives and vowed to protect his Executive members at all costs provided they were executing their mandate “within the law.”
During the session, Joho and Cherargei engaged in an altercation when the latter introduced ODM party politics in the wake of invites that had been dispatched to 15 ODM MCAs to appear before the party organs on Tuesday to deliberate on the county affairs.
The County Speaker Aharub Khatri was expected to appear before the committee to give his side of the story but failed to do so registering his apologies in turn that he was a bit feeling under the weather.
Khatri requested the members to reschedule the next meeting to Thursday this week when he is expected to appear with the Assembly’s Majority Whip and the House Clerk, requests which members agreed to.
In the meantime, Kinyua asked Khatri to shelve Tuesday’s business that of among other things had lined up to impeach CEC Tawfiq until the matter before is completely heard and determined.