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September 21, 2018

Wangamati under fire over appointees

Governor Wangamati speaks to reporters in his office / JOHN NALIANYA
Governor Wangamati speaks to reporters in his office / JOHN NALIANYA

Bungoma governor Wycliffe Wangamati has suffered a blow after two of the chief officers and advisers he nominated last week declined their appointments.

And some of those who have accepted the offer  face uncertainty as several groups have petitioned the assembly not to vet them.

Bungoma South Knut secretary Ken Nganga, who was appointed as political adviser, and Aggrey Fungututi, nominated as chief officer Trade, Energy and Industrialisation, declined the offers.

Nganga said has a passion to serve teachers instead.  “The contract they gave me is yet to elapse,” he said.

Fungututi turned down the county job after he was promoted at his current station.

Residents and pressure groups have asked the county assembly not to vet 38 appointees, saying Governor Wangamati did not follow the law while picking them.

Good governance consultant Peter Khakina and the Ogiek community have written to the assembly, asking MCAs to annul the appointment of many officers.

Khakina says the appointments were done without considering balance for the nine subcounties. The appointments favour certain subcounties while sidelining others, he says.

“According to the appointment made by the governor on August 29, Kimilili, Kanduyi, Bumula, Mount Elgon and Tongaren have two nominees each. Webuye West and Webuye East have one nominee each, while Sirisia and Kabuchai have no nominee yet,” the petition reads.

Khakina also said that candidates for chief officer Lands, Urban Planning and Housing were not interviewed due to a court case and those nominated should not be vetted.

The petitioners fault Wangamati for appointing one deputy chief of staff, a liaison officer, a public relations officer, eight advisers and three members to the service delivery unit in his office, which is against the law.

Khakina says the county Public Service Board allows the governor to appoint only three advisers to political, economic and legal positions.

He said regularisation of the positions involved creating an office, advertising the position and recruiting. Any other appointments should be done by the board, Khakina said.

He said Wangamati’s additional appointments would push the wage bill beyond the limit of 35 per cent of county expenditure, according to the Public Finance Management Act. 

The Ogieks say appointments fail to cater for minority communities and the two-thirds gender rule.

“The composition disregards statutory and constitutional demands to involve and include entire communities resident in Bungoma county, including the Ogieks,” the petition said.

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