Garre Council of Elders dissolved
Community says council has failed in its decisions and another team will be chosen in December
The Garre community has suspended its council of elders after a dispute on the criteria used to choose leaders who will take over from incumbents.
Community representatives, led by Abdullahi Abdi, said the council of elders they elected four years ago has failed the community in its decisions.
They were speaking at a convention in Elwak subcounty that brought together more than 1,000 community members on Wednesday.
“We are deeply disappointed by the decision of the elders to violate the charter on choosing leaders who will take over from the incumbents,” Abdi said.
According to the charter, the 21-member council was expected to involve 20 people from each of the 20 clans in making its ‘negotiated democracy’ decisions.
The council has, however, dismissed the suspension, saying the decision was engineered by a few individuals with selfish ambitions.
Chairman Haji Noor said, “We don’t know what they are trying to do, but it will certainly fail because the elders’ decision is final.”
Abdi said it was malicious for the the elders not to announce who would take over some leadership positions, despite declaring that the term of current leaders has expired.
The elders were also accused of interfering with procurement, projects and county decisions, which has slowed development.
Abdi said attempts to call for roundtable negotiations with the elders failed, hence the need to dissolve the council.
“We do not want to see what we saw during the elders’ announcement – our own people fighting among each other because of poor decisions by the elders. We tried to involve them in talks but they have turned down our proposal,” he said.
Abdi said the community will choose an interim committee to represent it as it prepares to appoint another council in December.
He said the committee will have nine members. Each of the four major clans will appoint two representatives, while the ninth member will be the chairperson.
The committee is expected to hold another convention in December to amend the charter. Abdi said the current charter has loopholes.
“Four years ago, when we sat and drafted the charter, devolution had not taken effect. Our charter collides with devolved system of governance. We need to make some changes,” he said.
Among the amendments expected is to reduce the number of council members from 21 to nine and review the number of years a leader can serve.
The involvement of minority communities living in Mandera in decision making will also be considered.
COUNCIL DISMISSES DISSOLUTION, SAYS THE DECISION WAS BASED ON SELFISHNESS
Garre Council of Elders chairman HajI Noor (L) addresses the press in Takaba town on Sunday after reading the list of nominees for various seats. He is with council members