- The four positions remained vacant after the county assembly in November last year approved only six out of 10 members nominated by the governor.
- Their names will now be forwarded to the county assembly for vetting and approval.
Taita Taveta Governor Andrew Mwadime has finally succumbed to pressure to appoint the remaining four county executives and chief officers.
Pressure from lobby groups was mounting on Mwadime to make the appointments, even as a section of MCAs threatened him with planned impeachment.
The new executives nominated are Eric Kyongo (Agriculture), Panuel Mwaeke (Devolution), Christine Mwakera (Trade) and former Mwatate municipal chairman Martin Tairo who will head the Public Works ministry.
The four positions remained vacant after the county assembly in November last year approved only six out of 10 members nominated by the governor.
The nominees had been rejected due to lack of enough managerial skills, lack of touch with the ground and inability to manage county staff, a report by the MCAs said.
In a statement on Thursday, the governor further nominated 12 members to the position of county chief officers and four members to the County Audit Committee.
The chief officers are Habib Mruttu (Devolution), Harrison Mwamkonu (Special Programmes), Paul Sindeu (Trade), Lonyee Mwakio (Education), Rina Ndamu (Youth and Gender) and Violet Mkala (Health).
Others are Reuben Kitololo (Water), Elizabeth Mbinga (Environment), Nashon Nyali (Finance), Jimmy Mtawa (Lands), Leonard Kiute (Public Works) and Mcharo Mwalugha (Agriculture).
The audit committee will be chaired by former Wundanyi MP Thomas Mwadeghu. Other members of the committee are Anthony Mwanyuma, Diana Mwacharo and Holiness Mwawali.
The nomination is in tandem with section 45(1) of the County Government Act 2012 as read together with section 6 of the Public Appointment (County Assembly Approval) Act 2017.
Their names will now be forwarded to the county assembly for vetting and approval.
The county chief, in an interview on Friday, however, said he deliberately delayed releasing the list of appointees to understand them better before giving them the crucial dockets.
“When the office is new, you need to understand who you are working with. I cannot rush and risk bringing saboteurs to my administration,” Mwadime told journalists in Voi.
He said that he is not moved by those who mounted pressure on him as the law does not give a deadline on when to appoint a new cabinet and chief officers.
“Those who are thinking of an impeachment should just get busy with other things. There is no deadline for appointing a new team. We already had officers who served in the former regime,” Mwadime added.
The governor said he is keen on bringing on board competent officers devoid of bias who would help him actualise his development plan.
The delay in making the appointments, Mwadime said, had also been caused by lack of gender and regional balancing in the list of shortlisted candidates. He said some subcounties had made more applications than others while the number of women who had applied for the jobs was low.
“We could not appoint people from the same area and, therefore, we had to go back to the drawing board to reconstruct the list,” the governor said.
Concerning the newly established County Audit Committee, the Mwadime said he was acting on advice from the Auditor General Nancy Gathungu. He said Gathungu had recommended formation of a committee to conduct proper verification of county projects and pending bills.
He further committed to pay all the pending bills upon completion of the verification process.
Lately, the governor has been on loggerheads with ward reps over the delayed appointments. The MCAs said that the delay in constituting the county's cabinet had led to delayed service delivery.
Deputy Speaker Anselim Mwadime said that the delayed appointment might spoil the assembly’s good working records, thus causing them to start facing rejection at their wards.
(edited by Amol Awuor)