ISSUE SEVEN-DAY ULTIMATUM

Sack chief officer or we impeach you, MCAs tell Kiptis

Ward reps say Jane Barus is arrogant. Officer denies allegations, blame assembly members of witchhunt

In Summary

• Baringo County Governor Stanley Kiptis has been given one week ultimatum to fire or replace ‘rogue’ Finance and Economic Planning Chief Officer Jane Barus. 

• Twenty-two out of the 26 MCAs who were present in the assembly on Thursday afternoon approved a motion by Majority leader Lawi Kipchumba to have Barus sacked.

Baringo County assembly MCA passes a motion to fire or replace Finance Chief Officer Jane Barus on April 11, 2019.
Baringo County assembly MCA passes a motion to fire or replace Finance Chief Officer Jane Barus on April 11, 2019.
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

Baringo MCAs have issued a one-week ultimatum to Governor Stanley Kiptis to sack and replace finance chief officer Jane Barus or risk impeachment.

Twenty-two out of the 26 MCAs who were present in the assembly on Thursday afternoon approved a motion by Majority leader Lawi Kipchumba to have Barus sacked.

The Lembus Kwen MCA tabled the motion a heated debate as four members opposed the bid.

“The members have spoken. It is now upon you (Kiptis) to act, failure to which your impeachment motion is underway,” Mochongoi MCA Kipruto Kimosop said.

Barus has accused the MCAs of witchhunt. She, however, welcomed the action the governor will take.

"I've been discharging my duties diligently based on professionalism without discrimination or favour," Barus told the Star.

Kimosop said they had held meetings with Kiptis, including reconciliatory and arbitration talks on the matter without success.

“This lady has been the epitome of arrogance and display of power and this is the right time to deal with her," Kimosop said.

Kipchumba said Barus did not follow procedures in procuring and awarding tenders.

“After listening to the members' plights, I hereby direct that the governor takes swift action against the said officer within the next seven days,” Speaker David Kiplagat said.

The motion was supported by Deputy Speaker Ameja Zelemoi (Churo-Amaya), Daniel Tuwit (Ripko-Kositei), Silas Tochim (Tenges), Ernest Kibet (Kabarnet), Sam Lokales (Tirioko), John Aengwo (Saimo-Kipsaraman), John Tarus (Sacho), Jennifer Kabon (Kapropita) and Nixon Lemlem (Marigat).

Kipchumba said the motion was a warning to Kiptis to closely monitor county staff, saying some were full of pride and favouritism.

“I know it is my role as Majority leader to advice the county government but I have tried my best to negotiate in all departments but it failed," he said.

He said the assembly was taking its oversight role seriously to ensuring things remain in order. He said MCAs will not sit back and watch things go wrong.

"I believe our governor is bright enough to read the signs and do something as fast as possible and weed out inactive staff,” Kipchumba said.

Kabarnet MCA Ernest Kibet said they could be a huge rollover in development finances if Kiptis does not sack the finance officer. "Our people will end up losing,” Kibet said.

"This process may result in an impeachment of the governor and we're not frustrating him since he has decided to frustrate himself," Kibet said. 

On Friday last week, Bartabwa MCA Reuben Chepsongol, said allegations against Barus were not genuine. He said some MCAs were disappointed since they never got tenders and kickbacks. 

"This is a collective responsibility and we should support all leaders. A majority leader is the one who is supposed to advise the governor and he is here contradicting himself," Chepsongol said. 

He defended Barus, saying the chief officer followed the procurement procedures.

Others who opposed the motion were Silale MCA Neslon Lotela, Francisca Cherutich (nominated) and Charles Kosgei (Mogotio).

Kiptis has defended his administration, saying e-procurement has been initiated. He denied that Barus is directly involved in awarding tenders.

Edited by Peter Obuya