Governors, MCAs rift widens with more impeachment plots
Noah Chepleon and Githinji Mwangi
Rifts in various counties pitting governors and Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) have gone a notch higher, with the ward representatives devising various strategies to cut the county bosses to size.
Among the governors feeling the political heat include Kirinyaga’s Anne Waiguru, her Kitui counterpart Charity Ngilu, Nakuru’s Lee Kinyanjui and Bungoma’s Wycliffe Wangamati.
In Kitui, MCAs took an ugly turn on Monday when the county assembly orderlies violently ejected Ngilu’s lawyers who had gone to respond to impeachment summons levelled against her by the ward representatives.
One of the lawyers, Morris Kimuli suffered injuries during the confrontation. On the same day, the rift pitting the Kirinyaga MCAs against Waiguru deepened after they slashed some of the budgetary allocations for some departments.
The MCAs drastically slashed the executive’s annual budget for legal fees from Sh 60 million to only Sh1 million.
The assembly further flexed its muscle by cutting the proposed budget for the county secretary office from Sh111 million to zero.
According to the MCAs, the legal fees was meant to pay for lawyers who represented the embattled governor in the Senate during the impeachment motion among other legal undertakings.
Speaking to the press after passing the budget, the Budget Committee Chairman David Mathenge, explained that the Sh111 million previously allocated to the office of the county secretary will be channeled to ward based projects such as construction of roads, dispensaries and water projects.
To spite the governor, the MCAs allocated Sh15.6 million to the deputy governor’s office.
The executive had proposed that no monies would have been allocated to the office of the Deputy Governor, Peter Ndambiri, a fierce critic of Waiguru who had openly supported the impeachment proceedings against his boss.
The MCAs also rejected the executive’s proposal to allocate Sh90 million to the governor’s office for the purchase of furniture.
In Nakuru, Governor Kinyanjui accused the Ward Reps of trying to extort him and even dared them to impeach him as the war of words between the two parties escalated.
A usually calm, cool and collected Kinyanjui appeared agitated during a hurriedly called press conference on Monday evening daring the MCAs to proceed with their plans. “If they think they are popular let them proceed,” dared Kinyanjui.’
Kinyanjui said he is only answerable and accountable to the people of Nakuru, and not a few leaders, who want to advance their selfish interests at the expense of the electorate who elected them.
Last week, the assembly gave Kinyanjui 14 days to abolish the recently created office of deputy director of procurement which is held by a former aide terming it illegal. The motion was tabled by Naivasha MCA Stanley Karanja.
The joint committee observed that pooling of procurement officers had entrenched bureaucracy, resulting in delays in procurement of goods and services.
“It has eroded transparency and encouraged manipulation and graft by shifting responsibilities of all departments to one officer. The office of a deputy director does not exist in law,” the report states.
They also demanded that a decision to centralise procurement be reversed immediately failure to which they will commence impeachment proceedings against Governor Kinyanjui accusing him of abuse of office among other things.
Kinyanjui established a new directorate of procurement and appointed Samuel Wachira as its acting director October last year, a move that was widely criticized by some MCAs and a section of residents.