Newly inaugurated Kilifi County Governor Gideon Mung'aro has sacked all Chief Officers who served under the previous regime of Governor Amason Kingi in his bid to restructure the county government's operations after officially taking over office last week.
In addition, Mung'aro placed five County Executive Committee (CEC) members on leave without pay, pending further direction on their potential requirements or not.
Among the CECs are Prof. Gabriel Katana (Devolution, Public Service and Disaster Management), Mwachitu Kiringi (Water, Environment and Natural Resources), Nahida Mohamed (Trade and Tourism), and Luciana Sanzua (Agriculture).
Mung'aro also instructed the Chief Officers to hand over their duties and exit the offices by Friday, September 2.
"I have made a raft of changes as outlined to enable my administration to deliver essential services and functions promptly during this transition period. Previously, our people faced many challenges in accessing services and enjoying the benefits of devolution," he said.
The governor, however, retained some of the CEC members on what he termed as temporary basis to enable him to appoint new ones who must go through vetting after Members of County Assembly (MCAs) are sworn in.
Directors appointed to act as Chief Officers
He also retained County Secretary Arnold Mkare for six months and appointed the directors of departments to act as Chief Officers as he assembled his team.
"In the Office of the County Attorney, I have appointed Advocate Henry Faraji Chipinde, the County Solicitor, to serve as the Acting County Attorney after the expiry of the previous contract," he said.
The surviving CEC members include Dr. Anisa Omar, appointed to represent gender, social services, culture, and sports and briefly held in water, environment, natural resources, and forestry—agriculture, livestock development, and fisheries.
The governor also appointed Charles Dadu, the current CEC of Health, to a temporary position in the departments of Roads, Public Works, and Transport, as well as Trade, Tourism, and Cooperative Development.
Racheal Musyoki was appointed temporarily to hold a position in the Department of Devolution, Public Service, and Disaster Management and to serve as the County Executive Committee Member for Education and ICT.
Maureen Mwangovya was also tasked to briefly serve as the CEC for Lands, Energy, Housing, and Urban Development.
"I have extended the contract of the current office holder, Mr. Mkare Arnold Jefwa, for a further period of six (6) months to ensure continuity in the Office of the County Secretary & Head of the Public Service. Mr. Jefwa will also serve as the Accounting Officer of all County Departments per Section 31(c) of the County Governments Act, 2012," he said.
According to Mung'aro, since all of the Chief Officers' contracts had already expired, he appointed directors to perform their functions pending recruitment and appointment.
Those appointed include Elijah Kuta (Department of Roads, Public Works & Transport ), Ayore Ongiri – Department Devolution, Public Service & Disaster Management, Dr. David Mulewa –Department of Health Services, Wilberforce Katumo – Department of Finance & Economic Planning, Eng. James Thubu, (Water, Environment, Natural Resources & Forestry.)
Others are John Ziro – Department of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries, Eric Randu –Lands, Energy, Housing & Urban Development, Cyrilus Mwangombe – Gender, Social Services, Culture & Sports, Mary Kabani – Trade, Tourism & Co-operative Development, and . Eddystella Nthiiri – Education & ICT expert.
"I expect these officers to carry out their duties with the highest devotion and commitment so as not to fail the people of Kilifi County," he said
Mung'aro, however, congratulated everyone who had assumed new roles, wished them luck, guaranteed them the necessary support they would need in the discharge of their duties, as well as thanked those whose contracts had expired.
"On behalf of the people of Kilifi, I extend my gratitude for your service and wish nothing but the best in your future endeavors," he said.
He reaffirmed that, if and when the opportunity presents itself, his administration will continue to be willing to collaborate with persons who are competitively recruited to serve in various capacities.
The changes occurred as the governor assumed his duties after being sworn in last week to replace Governor Amason Kingi, who just finished serving his second and final term.
Now that Mung'aro has taken the helm of the new government, all eyes are on him to fulfill his promises to the Kilifi people in his campaign manifesto.