Controller of Budget (CoB) Margaret Nyakang’o has threatened to withhold funds for Wajir County government as leadership wrangles escalate.
This is after the reinstated Governor Mohamed Abdi Mahamud wrote to Nyakang’o asking her to temporarily freeze all expenditure by the Wajir county government pending scrutiny of the handover reports and preliminary audits of the projects.
“The objective of this request is to preserve public funds and resources,” the letter by Abdi’s lawyer read in part.
Following the leadership dispute pitting Mahamud against incumbent Ahmed Ali Muktar, Nyakang’o has convened a crisis meeting with county assembly Speaker Ibrahim Yakub and county secretary Mohamed Abdullahi this week to establish the legitimate office holders in the docket of finance and planning.
Speaker Yakub yesterday confirmed the scheduled meeting without stating the exact date for the crunch meeting.
Last week, the High Court reinstated Abdi who was impeached by the county assembly and the Senate in May last year for gross violation of the Constitution.
The ruling threw the county into a leadership crisis as the two governors claim they are both legally in office.
Muktar made radical changes to Abdi’s cabinet, including the crucial finance docket, thereby changing signatories to the county’s bank accounts.
At the press conference held in Nairobi last week, Abdi maintained that the court confirmed the entire impeachment process was illegal.
He extended an olive branch to Muktar to work with him as his deputy.
“The landmark judgement issued yesterday will go a long way in guiding the county assemblies and the senate on how to properly conduct impeachment proceedings. They ought to avoid victimising governors through application of the law of the jungle,” Abdi said.
He said the judges confirmed that the impeachment was not only unlawful but also unconstitutional.
“Consequently, I remain the governor of Wajir county. I extend hand to deputy governor Muktar and invite him to work with me as we did in 2017,” he added.
He was immediately replaced by his deputy Muktar who was sworn in as governor in line with the Constitution and the County Governments Act.
Muktar yesterday faulted the court ruling saying that it came at the wrong time.
Governor Muktar whose elevation as substantive governor was nulled said that the three-judge bench erred in reinstating the governor.