Bungoma governor Kenneth Lusaka yesterday promised that jobs on offer at the county will awarded to qualified personnel on merit as provided for in the County Government Act.
Reacting to demands by some county assembly MPs that vacant positions on offer including executive ones be advertised, the governor indicated that all appointments "will be made above board, transparently and in accordance with the law".
Lusaka explained : It is the prerogative of the governor to make executive appointments for approval by the county assembly MPs....this will be duly followed.
We are doing things in a systematic manner and began last Friday with advertisement of positions within the County Public Service Board whose responsibility will be to conduct interviews to fill vacant positions.
A spokesman of Club 25, Khalaba ward representative Majimbo Okumu at the weekend demanded that all vacant positions within Bungoma county be advertised prior to being filled up as a prelude to accountability and transparency in the management of the county's affairs. There are 45 elected county representatives and another 15 nominees are scheduled for gazzettement to bring the tally to 60.
The governor told the Star that no appointments "have been made yet as we have just began laying the groundwork in accordance with the law but all can rest assured only credible people who meet the established threshold will merit positions that are vacant since we want to go flat out to deliver".
He vowed to firmly deal with corruption and protect all economic gains made by relegating impunity and influence peddlers to the dustbin. He said he has topped the construction of a multi-million shillings fuel station along the Great North Road at the Kibabii junction between Bungoma and Malaba because it was located at the source of River Sio that drains into Lake Victoria.
"The circumstances under which it was being constructed are shadowy, considering a hotel project at the same site was cancelled in the 1990s for environmental reasons. I want a full investigation carried out to determine how the businessman involved got a licence from Nema", Lusaka said.
The former Livestock PS commented: corruption has been a way of life pitting the able against the weak and powerless...Corruption will be a very expensive venture in Bungoma county because I have in place proactive measures to stop the vice.
The Star learnt yesterday that a businessman of Asian origin was behind the project and mysteriously obtained a licence from the Nema top brass to continue with construction after it was stopped shortly after commencing construction
The governor told the Star: I am humbled Bungoma people placed in me their faith and trust with finality. I will not take this responsibility lightly....I will endeavor to represent them with the utmost transparency and boldness. Let those linked to powerful individuals who peddle influence to facilitate corrupt deals be warned now.
He said residents must endeavour to take control of their own destiny to realise the county's huge economic potential emphasising that it would demand hard work for new prospects and possibilities.
"We must move forward positively to compete with the rest, campaigns are over. We must now all roll up our sleeves and start building our county whose people have put their hope and trust in us elected leaders. Our political persuasion must not polarize this new dispensation, " Lusaka exhorted.
The governor said it was prudent to consider the needs and preferences of tax payers, compatibility with benefit areas and ensure equitable redistribution of wealth and opportunities.
Lusaka said since Bungoma was ranked among the top five counties in the country, establishment of a 24 hour economy was prime hence the need for adequate security measures that would enable businesses flourish.