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Bomet assembly rejects six CECs nominees

Wednesday August 21 2019
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Members of the Bomet County Assembly consults at the chambers before names of nine CECs were tabled for debate on reappointment after Governor Hillary Barchok forwarded their names to the assembly as he seeks to reconstitute cabinet. .PHOTO | VITALIS KIMUTAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By VITALIS KIMUTAI

Six County Executive Committee (CEC) members, who had been nominated for re-appointment to the county government of Bomet by Governor Hillary Barchok, have been rejected by the county assembly.

In a surprising turn of events, the CECs were unanimously rejected by the 37 members of the county for various reasons, including “high handedness, incompetence, presiding over implementation of shoddy work leading to loss of tax payers’ money, laziness, and poor leadership”

The CECs who were shown the door are, Mr Justus Maina (Administration, CT and Public Service), Mr Benard Ngeno (Sports, Youths and Social Services), Engineer Benson Kipsang Sang (Water and Sanitation), Engineer Philiph Kipngeno Sowek (Roads, Public Works and Transport), Mrs Daisy Chelangat Rono (Land and Urban Planning),Dr Julius Tuwei (Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives).

Only three of the CECs - Dr Joseph Kipruto Sitonik,( Medical Services and Public Health), Mrs Juliana Yegon (Education and Vocational Training), Mr Andrew Kimutai Sigei (Finance and Economic Planning) survived the axe.

When Speaker of the County Assembly Shadrack Rotich tabled the list of the nominees, it was clear by the whistling of the MCAs that some of the former CECs were on their cross hairs, but the magnitude of the matter came to fore in the afternoon when the debate on their fate was opened.

The shoddy work on bridges and roads that put the county in very bad light when the media highlighted it returned to hound Engineer Sowek who was the first to be rejected by the assembly for alleged incompetence.

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“It is a shame that the Chepkositonik bridge which the government sunk Sh 8.4 million but built like a culvert in Bomet East Sub County and Kirwa bridge in Sotik constituency with Sh 2.4 million being spent was constructed using bricks under the watch of engineer Sowek,” said leader of Minority Andrew Maritim.

Mr  Maritim who was backed by fellow MCAs stated that most of the roads in the county had not been upgraded yet money had been paid out to contractors while the ones that had been done was not supervised as required.

Mr Ngeno was accused of being “high handed, failing to follow procurement plans, running the department like his personal business and presiding over implementation of shoddy work and  haphazard allocation of resources,”

Chesoen MCA Kiplangat Barchok led his colleagues including Leonard Ngeny, Ms Janeth Turgut and Ms Marcela Chepkirui in stating that Mr Ngeno did not fit to hold any public office going by his failure to implement policies and projects in all the departments he headed – Gender, Social services and youths.

The former CEC who is also a former MCA was accused purchasing track suits for 250 interns while leaving out athletes and players who represented the county in various national and regional competitions.

Embomos MCA Robert Serbai accused Mr Maina of failing to set up ICT centres, running down the administration department and insubordinating the Governor.

Mrs Rono faced a barrage of accusations including micromanaging the Bomet Municipal Board, failing to ensure quality work was undertaken in the implementation of the Sh 168 million World Bank funded roads, sewerage and market construction projects, which are ongoing.

Kapletundo MCA Richard Chirchir and Alfred Langat (Singorwet) claimed that Sh 29 million was lost under Mrs Rono’s watch by Bomet County during the Lake Region Economic Block (LREB) conference which it hosted last year.

The MCAs caused laughter in the house when they repeatedly beseeched the Speaker to “read the mood of the house and put the question, we want to be done with this,” whenever it emerged clearly that there was consensus a nominee would be rejected unanimously.             

Hundreds of members of the public who were in the public gallery and others who were following the house proceedings through screens mounted at a hall adjacent to the chambers walked out after Mr Maina was rejected by the MCAs.

In a surprise move, Mr Tuwei was kicked out by the MCAs even as they said he had overseen the distribution of avocado, tissue culture bananas, and Artificial Insemination (AI) services under a subsidy program as the county rebrands as “Dairy County”

The first to get a unanimous vote for reappointment was Mrs yegon who was praised for presiding over construction of 179 ECDE centres, ensuring bursaries were distributed equitably while Dr Sitonik got the support of the MCAs for ensuring all health facilities had medical supplies.

Mr Sigei survived the axe for what the MCAs said was prudent management of the county funds and ensuring clean books of accounts were maintained.

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