Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi (photo) Barely three months in office have gone into hiccups.
The governor is facing an uprising from part of the MCA, which has rejected half of his cabinet candidates.
Wamatangi is also at odds with traders over the allocation of stalls at Ruiru’s renovated Githurai Market.
He is under pressure from casual workers who were sent on leave by the provincial government after he took office.
On Wednesday, the MCA rejected five out of ten cabinet candidates citing lack of experience and required qualifications.
The governor is now forced to go back to the drawing board to succeed Nancy Kirumba (Finance, ICT and Economic Planning), Margaret Ruinge (Administration and Public Service), Salome Wainaina (Housing, Spatial Planning, Municipal Administration and Urban Planning). Elias Mbuthia (health care) and Wilfred Mwenda Kiara (agriculture, livestock and cooperative development).
Those who were approved by the district assembly are Bibiane Waganjo (Education, Gender and Culture and Social Services), David Kuria (Water, Environment, Energy and Natural Resources), Nancy Gichungwa (Trade, Tourism, Industrialization and Investment), Samuel Kimani (Roads , Transport and Public Works and Utilities) and Ali Korar (Youth, Sports and Communication).
The MCA rejected five provincial executive nominees, despite the Assembly Committee on Nominations reporting that all 10 cabinet candidates were fit to serve in their respective roles.
In an interview on Thursday, Wamatangi downplayed the break with the Assembly, saying he has been a champion of decentralization and that his government would allow the MCA to operate independently.
“I’m going to start where the MCA left off by rejecting some candidates. I will also study the report of the nomination committee and carefully choose the course to follow.
He regretted that Kiambu had lagged behind in development over the past 10 years due to ongoing disputes between its predecessors and the MCA, which he wants to end.
Ms. Kirumba, Finance CEC’s nominee, was rejected because she lacked experience in managing the Sh17 billion allocated to the province.
“Section 35 requires a finance candidate to have five years of public service experience. The candidate declares that he has never served in any public office and has no experience in managing finances. She is not a member of any professional association for accountants,” said Tigoni-Ngecha MCA Kimani Nagruia in her contribution to the debate.
Ms Wainaina, the CEC nominee for housing and land use planning, was removed after Kijabe MCA Stephen Newtu (UDA) objected to her nomination, saying she had no knowledge of the housing role.
Ryabai MCA Hezron Mwangi (UDA) opposed the Housing CEC nominee, saying he lacked the necessary experience to handle the role in the wake of collapsing buildings.
Public Administration CEC candidate Ms. Reunz was rejected on the grounds of age.
Wamatangi is also facing an uprising from UDA MPs, who have a majority in the assembly.
Of the 60 elected members of the ruling party, 46 are MCAs, Tujibebe (4), Jubilee (4), Chama Cha Kazi (4) and two independents. Kwanzaa Kenyan MPs are leading the attack on the governor’s nominees and lobbying for their resignation.
Wamatangi found itself in uncharted territory after traders recently took to the streets to protest the allocation of stalls at Ruiru’s renovated Githurai Market.
Built by the government of former governor James Nyoro, the Sh500 million Githurai Market has 1,200 stalls.
Traders accused the Wamatangi government of changing them after being asked to make way for the renovation of the market.
The brawl between the two rival groups saw the market close with a section claiming there was a conspiracy to drive them out in favor of those befriended by a friend of the governor.
Wamatangi tried to reassure traders that the markets lead would speed up the allocation of stalls.
He said that in order to accommodate every trader, the provincial government would undertake the construction of one more market – Githurai Do Market. The project is expected to be launched on December 13 by President William Ruto.
Hundreds of casual workers recently laid off by the county government have accused the governor of exposing them to psychological and financial trauma.
The workers asked the president to intervene and reinstate him, saying his dismissal was inhumane and questionable.
“The Government of Kenya Kwanzaa talked about eliminating unemployment and defending scammers. That is why we question why we are being targeted and call on the president to protect us,” said one of the laid-off temporary workers. said Agnes Wambui.
He claimed that he was fired without notice and pay, but that he had been working in the developed unit for many years.
Some 600 casual workers have been sent home in the past three weeks, as part of the province’s austerity measures, sources say.