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December 10, 2018

MCAs stranded at Coast, Ngilu calls off retreat

Governor Charity Ngilu escorted out of the Kitui County Assembly chamber late last year /MUSEMBI NZENGU
Governor Charity Ngilu escorted out of the Kitui County Assembly chamber late last year /MUSEMBI NZENGU

About 35 Kitui MCAs were stranded in Mombasa yesterday after a bonding retreat with Governor Charity Ngilu was cancelled.

The reason: Kitui funds should be spent in Kitui to benefit residents — not in Mombasa. It was the latest instance of Ngilu and MCAs being at odds.

“Ngilu wants Kitui resources spent in Kitui or Ukambani to benefit locals but MCAs are keen on travelling to Mombasa. The governor has a clear manifesto to achieve for the people and wants Kitui monies to benefit Kitui people,” her communications consultant Marin Masai told the Star.

Assembly majority leader Peter Kilonzo said at least 35 out of 56 Kitui MCAs were at the Coast and unaware the meeting was cancelled.

“We initially received communications from the County Secretary Alex Kimanzi inviting MCAs for the Mombasa meeting with the governor. The meeting was to run from September 4 to September 8. Consequently, MCAs adjourned assembly business to attend the forum,” he said.

He said there appeared to have been change of plan from the governor’s office, as the venue  was switched to the remote Mwingi town in Kitui county.

“There appears to have been a communications breakdown, as MCAs were not aware of the changed venue they travelled to Mombasa. We feel cheated,” Kilonzo said.

Kitui Speaker George Ndotto, who is in Malindi for the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands conference, yesterday said, “We do not know what exactly happened with the

 Mombasa meeting.”

Yesterday was to be the third day of the bonding session.

A source in Ngilu’s office said  the Mombasa meeting was re-scheduled to Mwingi because it was at odds with the governor’s policy that Kitui county funds must be spent in Kitui.

“The governor was firm that the bonding meeting should have taken place in Kitui, probably a hotel in Mwingi town. Shehas thus vetoed the Mombasa 

meeting,” the source said.

Communications consultant Masa, said there is a fundamental difference between Ngilu and MCAs.

Soon after she was elected, Ngilu rejected an inauguration budget of Sh6 million, saying she only needed a Bible.  She said the money should be used to purchased water  tanks to ease  suffering in water scarce areas.

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