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Monday, December 6, 2021

One seat, two governors: Just who is in charge of Wajir County?

By Nicanor Ndiege

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Just who is the governor in Wajir County? While this question should have an outright answer with the newly sworn-in governor Ahmed Ali Muktar taking over, his impeached former boss Mohamed Abdi Mohamud, maintains he was still the county’s chief.

As Mr Muktar announced his plans for the county, Mr Mohamud was at another press briefing at an adjacent room at the Council of Governors’ headquarters.

There was even a brief scuffle with anti-riot police, who had been stationed at the CoG headquarters to scuttle the impeached county boss’s briefing.

But in a message to Mr Mohamud, Mr Muktar clarified there was no vacuum in Wajir and he, together with all the other leaders in the county, would not let tension, chaos and divisions disrupt development.

“My focus is not on politics; expectations are high from the Wajir people who want me to deliver services to them. We appeal to him (former governor Ali Mohamud) to come on board as a citizen of the county and help us serve the people,” he said.

The new county boss expressed his disappointment with the previous administration, which he accused of focusing on misplaced priorities at the expense of the people of Wajir.

He said Health services had been crippled, with medics not going to work over “small issues that any county government could easily solve”.

“I had worked for three-and-a-half years with my former boss. I gave him time to deliver, unfortunately, he did not and he was resultantly removed from office. We do not want such a thing to happen again,” Mr Muktar said.

He however acknowledged that Mr Muhamud had petitioned the Supreme Court on his impeachment and said his administration would wait patiently for the judgment to be made.

“We know he has gone to court and the issue is with the Chief Justice, but while that continues, I want everyone to know that Wajir County is moving forward. It has a governor and there is no vacuum. There will be no politics, but service delivery,” Governor Muktar said.

As these happen, Mr Mohamud was standing his ground, insisting he was still the governor of Wajir County.

 “The purported impeachment process for my removal from the office of the governor of Wajir County was initiated in violation of the law from inception… The Senate’s resolution to remove the governor was followed by a litany of well-orchestrated coup d’état tactics and manoeuvres which are known to all,” former governor Ali in a press conference.

He said stay orders issued by Justice P.J Otieno on May 18, 2021 at the Meru Court suspended the Gazette Notice issued on May 17 notifying the public of the Senate’s resolution.

“The import of these orders was that the entire findings and resolution of the Senate to remove me from Office was rendered ineffective, inapplicable and non-operational,” he said.

Mr Ndegwa Njiru, the impeached governor’s lawyer said the Senate’s wilful decision to ignore the court order tainted the entire process with illegality.

“The truth will come out in the fullness of time and we shall be vindicated. Orders issued on 18th staying the Senate’s decision to remove governor is still active thus my client remains governor,” he said.

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