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December 12, 2018

Wangamati selections on hold, Bongomeks demand positions

Bungoma governor Wyclife Wangamati speaking to the Star in his office. /JOHN NALIANYA
Bungoma governor Wyclife Wangamati speaking to the Star in his office. /JOHN NALIANYA

Individuals appointed as chief officers and advisers by Bungoma governor Wycliffe Wangamati will not be sworn in until a petition filed by residents is determined.

 Residents said Wangamati ignored members of the minority Bongomek community.

 During public hearings, several groups petitioned the assembly not to approve the nominees, saying Wangamati did not follow the law.

 Members of the Bongomek community told the committee on Public Administration chaired by MCA Majimbo Okumu that their minority community was not represented.

 “This contravenes the spirit of the Constitution of Kenya which stipulates all inclusivity. We are praying the assembly declines to approve the appointees,” Job Chebukwechi said.

 They said despite qualified members of their community applying for the jobs, they were not considered.

 County Public Service Board secretary Peter Masengeli told the assembly that during recruitment, they submitted names of the community members for approval but the governor did not consider them. 

“During our recruitment we short-listed three names in one of the ministries where a member of the community was shortlisted. It was the prerogative of the governor to pick a minority group member as required by law,”Masengeli said. 

The board was also at pains to explain why they had appointed members of the municipal board before municipalities were given charters as required by law.

 “We agree that it was a mistake but we want to tell the committee that oversight was the responsibiyly of the governor and the department of public administration,” Masengeli said.

 Public administration executive Sabwami Keya was called to explain why the governor didn’t follow the law and procedures while appointing chief officers. “Your honor, I know they were many interests like regional balancing but the governor has more appointments to make. I pray that we give him more time,” Sabwami said.

 He said the first appointments fell short of regional balancing, with subcounties like Sirisia and Kabucahi left out. The committee is expected to table a report before the house on the appointments. 

Those nominated include former Bumula MP Wakoli Bifwoli as an adviser. Others are former principal of Kimilili Boys School Patrick Wandili, who will be chief officer for health and sanitation, and former Kibabii deputy principal Danson Barasa, who will be the chief officer in the office the deputy governor.

 Others are Joseph Wambati (county secretary), Moses Marango (roads,public works and infrastructure), John Wasike (agriculture and irrigation), Moses Soet (environment and tourism), Isaac Araput (Livestock and fisheries), Carolyne Nekesa(youth and sports), Rose Nafula (education and vocational training), Phoeb Namukuru (ICT and records) and Aggrey Fungututi (trade, energy and industrialisation).

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