NOT IN COUNTY PAYROLL

Lonyangapuo defends absentee deputy

Nicholas Atudonyang' has been away from the county since April

In Summary
  • Governor says he is under no pressure to remove Atudonyang' since he no longer draws salary or any allowance
  • Lawmakers call for enactment of a law spelling out duties of deputy governors
West Pokot Deputy Governor Nicholas Atudonyang
IN THE US: West Pokot Deputy Governor Nicholas Atudonyang
Image: COURTESY

Senators have summoned West Pokot Deputy Governor Nicholas Atudonyang’ to explain his continued absence from the county.

The lawmakers said the official’s stay out of office must not be allowed to continue as it is setting a bad precedent to other county governments.

Members of the Senator Committee on Devolution said they would write to the DG, who is still in the US, to appear in person and explain himself.

 

Governor John Lonyangapuo briefed the committee chaired by Laikipia Senator John Kinyua, saying his hands were tied as he had no legal backing to sack the deputy governor.

The county chief further told Senators he was under no pressure to remove Atudonyang' since he no longer draws salaries or any other allowances from the county coffers.

“I cannot sack him. He has done nothing out of the ordinary apart from being absent. I removed him as Health CEC,” Lonyangapuo said.

“His absence is not affecting us as work is going on as usual. Furthermore, we are not losing anything in terms of per diem, lunch or air tickets,” he said.

The governor said the officer has even supported the county with donations of health equipment worth Sh150 million, the last batch being in September last year.

The equipment donated by an NGO - known as Saving Mothers - included maternity beds and laboratory machines which the governor said are in use in the county.

Lonyangapuo said the DG – who is reportedly unwell and with a sick child - only enjoys the three per cent interest relief on mortgages extended to state officers. He said the relief will only cease once the officer resigns.

 

“We must work towards finalising the bill which sought to define the functions of deputy governors. This is the law that will safeguard the position,” the county chief said.

The lawmakers called for the enactment of a law spelling the duties of deputy governors amid concerns some county bosses could be taking advantage of the lacuna to perpetuate an illegality.

“We must put the law in place to ensure that deputy governors are accountable. Let the deputy governor resign if the county unable to remove him,” nominated Senator Rose Nyamunga said.

Among the issues the committee is probing is whether the absent DG, who has been in the US since April having returned in December 2018 after the polls, is a dual citizen.

Lonyangapuo revealed that the EACC has taken up the matter of the DG’s absence, adding that he has appeared before the commission twice.