STAMPING AUTHORITY

Mutura makes first executive changes, realigns city cabinet

Says changes not meant to punish anyone but to improve efficiency.

In Summary
  • Ouko takes up the post of Education executive, which she held previously
  • Lucia Mulwa, who was Education CEC, has been moved to Agriculture
Acting Nairobi Governor Benson Mutura addresses the media in his office on January 6, 2021.
Acting Nairobi Governor Benson Mutura addresses the media in his office on January 6, 2021.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Education activist Janet Ouko is back at City Hall, a year after she quit.

She takes up the post of Education executive, which she held previously.

Her return is one of the changes made by acting Nairobi Governor Benson Mutura on Monday.

Mutura said the reorganisation was in line with the powers bestowed upon him by the Constitution and the County Government Act, 2012.

Ouko resigned in January last year, citing intimidation among other issues.

She was the first executive to resign from then Governor Mike Sonko’s county executive committee. 

Prior to her resignation, Ouko was among the longest-serving executives, having been in charge of the Education docket since she was sworn in on November 1, 2017.

Ouko also served as vice chairperson of the task force appointed by Governor Evans Kidero to improve the performance of public schools in Nairobi.

She was a witness of the county assembly during Sonko's impeachment hearing before the Senate last month. 

In the new realignment, Lucia Mulwa, who was Education CEC, has been moved to Agriculture.

The department has been without a CEC since early last year after Winfred Kathangu was sacked by Sonko.

City Hall’s 'super chief officer' Jairus Musumba will serve as county secretary in an acting capacity.

Musumba has been Devolution chief officer as well as serving in an acting capacity in the Education department. At some point he was also Trade chief officer.

Justus Kathenge, who was serving as acting county secretary, now fully assumes his role as Urban Planning chief officer.

Former Councillor Paul Mutunga Mutungi
Former Councillor Paul Mutunga Mutungi

“I want to thank Kathenge for the good work he has done while serving in this office. He will still be with us and his services are needed,” Mutura said.

Also making a comeback is former councillor Paul Mutunga who has been appointed Chief of Staff, replacing Peter Mugo.

Mutunga ran for Embakasi South MP in the August 8, 2017, General Election.

Former Makadara MP aspirant Brian Weke has been appointed legal adviser in the officer of the governor.

The rest of the executives remain in their substantive positions: Charles Kerich (Lands), Mohammed Dagane (Transport), Hitan Majevdia (Health), Larry Wambua (Environment), Vesca Kagongo (Devolution), Newton Munene (ICT), Allan Igambi (Finance and acting Trade executive).

Mutura said the realignments were not to punish anyone but to improve efficiency.

“I will be communicating more changes in future. These officers are competent and have vast experience. We shall be consulting with them but the bottom line is service delivery,” he said.

Brian Weke
Brian Weke

Lawyer Demas Kiprono said Mutura is within his mandate to make cabinet appointments. 

“Since he is acting he has all the tools to govern the county. The cabinet [answers] to him and I think he is within his mandate," he said.

A county official who sought anonymity said the realignments are meant to enable a smooth working relationship with the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.

“The cabinet will now be able to function without threats. We are going to work with NMS to ensure that Nairobi residents get their services,” the official said.

Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya