Garre Coun­cil of El­ders dis­solved

Com­mu­nity says coun­cil has failed in its de­ci­sions and an­other team will be cho­sen in De­cem­ber

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties - LEWIS NYAUNDI @X_nyaun­diH

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.

IN­TERIM COM­MIT­TEE

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

/STEPHEN ASTARIKO

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

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