Honeymoon over for Nyoro as Kiambu MCAs pick a fight with him over Covid-19 funds

By Eric Wainaina On Wed, 16 Sep, 2020 13:44 | 3 mins read
James Nyoro
Kiambu Governor, Dr. James Nyoro, at a past press conference. PHOTO | FILE

A year is not yet over since Kiambu Governor James Nyoro took over the mantle from his impeached predecessor Ferdinand Waititu and trouble is already brewing.

Sources reveal that Governor Nyoro has already fallen out with his Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) who were key to his ascension to the top office.

The falling out is over alleged corruption and tender feuds, sources revealed to People Daily.

Matters came to a head last weekend during a meeting that was convened by Nyoro at Sahara West Hotel in Ruaka, which degenerated in name-calling.

While Nyoro accuses the MCAs of witchhunt and being motivated by jealousy in their pursuit for accountability especially on the expenditure in the Health docket, the ward reps on the other hand have accused the county boss of high handedness and lacking accountability.

Among the MCAs who played critical roles in Waititu’s ouster but have now turned against Nyoro include Solomon Kinuthia (Ndenderu) who prosecuted the impeachment motion and Njeri Bakari (Nominated).

On Tuesday, the Ndenderu MCA, who chairs the Health Committee that is investigating alleged misappropriation of Covid-19 related funds, said his colleagues are concerned about Nyoro’s deliberate efforts to frustrate their oversight role to cover up for possible mismanagement of funds.

Kinuthia claimed Nyoro, who has also fallen out with a section of MPs led by Woman Rep Gathoni wa Muchomba and Thika’s Patrick Wainaina wa Jungle, does not want to be questioned over expenditure and is instead exhibiting arrogance when challenged to exercise accountability.

The MCA said that the Health team had raised questions over Corona funds and also demanded to know why the Executive needs additional money through a Supplementary Budget, but no response was given.

“Events of Friday’s meeting were a culmination of many things that have happened. Nyoro claimed we are asking questions out of jealousy because his officers are developing private properties. We are demanding answers regarding public funds,” said Kinuthia.

He added: “We have expressed concern on the county management. However, Nyoro has been trying to suppress oversight. When pressed hard, he turns rude and just the other day, he charged that he does not care even if we impeach him because he has residences in Seattle and Florida in America where he can gladly relocate to.”

Bakari, who was also a fierce critic of Waititu and successfully prosecuted the impeachment of the then Youth Minister Karungo Wa Thang’wa, shared Kinuthia’s sentiments, saying Nyoro was frustrating their oversight role.

Bakari said Assembly was demanding reports of expenditures in the Health sector to enable them evaluate if the budget was used in a prudent manner, and if the Executive is justified to receive additional cash, but Nyoro has refused to furnish it with answers.

“We do not have a problem with Nyoro. He is the governor, however, he has made our oversight role difficult. We worked hard to change the leadership hoping it would be better and respectable governance but it is sad he is exhibiting the same behavior that led to Waititu’s impeachment,” she said.

When contacted, Nyoro refused to respond to the allegations, challenging People Daily to go ahead and publish the story. “Is that a story that you can carry? Go ahead. I have nothing to say, no comment”.

Majority Leader Gideon Gachara acknowledged that there are leadership wrangles but defended Nyoro saying the fallout has everything to do with MCAs wanting to be awarded contracts by the county government, which the county chief has refused, adding that no one has objected to oversight.

“Those people who are making allegations and even threatening to impeach the governor have been demanding that they be awarded tenders in the county which is impossible because that amounts to a conflict of interest. After being denied the tenders by the governor, they claim that he is rude which is not true,” Gachara said.

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