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Waititu sends Moses Kuria’s brother on forced leave

Thursday January 3 2019

ERIC WAINAINA
By ERIC WAINAINA
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A day after Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria expressed concerns that Mt Kenya region has not benefitted much from the Jubilee government which they have supported since 2013, Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has sent his brother on compulsory leave.

Mr John Ngigi Kuria, the chief officer for Agriculture, Crop Production, Irrigation and Marketing, was on January 2 sent on a 30-day leave and ordered to hand over his duties to the Livestock and Fisheries department.

“It has been noted that you have not taken you annual leave … due to the busy nature of your office. You are, therefore, advised to proceed for your annual 30-days leave with effect from Thursday, January 3, 2019. You will be required to resume duty on Tuesday, February 14, 2019,” reads the letter from Mr Waititu. 

DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

During New Year eve celebrations at Thika Stadium, Mr Kuria suggested that although the region supported President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto in 2013 and 2017 elections, the Jubilee administration has not reciprocated.

The event was also attended by Governor Waititu.

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Mr Kuria complained that the government is funding development projects in other regions and appears to have forgotten Mt Kenya region, a move he said will not be tolerated.

Though the letter talks of  leave, pundits and Mr Kuria, who has in the past criticised Mr Waititu's leadership style, believe that the action is politically motivated and reeks of an impending sacking.

'OLD HABITS'

The governor has a knack for sacking top county officials after sending them on compulsory leave and replacing them midway through their rest.

In September 2018, Mr Waititu replaced two county ministers, whom he had sent on forced leave, over alleged association with his deputy James Nyoro.

Dr Joseph Murega, who was the Health minister and a former high school classmate of Mr Nyoro's, was replaced by Dr Juliet Kimemia. Ms Kimemia unsuccessfully tried to unseat Senator Kimani Wamatangi in the 2017 General Election.

Ms Kimenia was immediately swapped with Ms Mary Kamau who has served in four dockets since her appointment in 2017.

Dr Isabella Waiyaki, whom, prior to her appointment was an assistant lecturer at the University of Nairobi, was replaced with former Gatundu North MP Kigo Njenga in the Trade, Tourism, Co-operative and Enterprise Development docket.

Mr Kigo, who was vanquished by former broadcaster Wanjiku wa Kibeh in Gatundu North, has since been swapped with former State House accountant Mburu Kang'ethe in the Finance docket.

The duo’s suspension and eventual sacking came three months after the governor transferred former Roads and Transport minister John Mugwe to the lowly Water ministry before suspending and subsequently sacking him “for not being a team player.”

Mr Waititu then replaced him with former Ngewa MCA Karungo wa Thang’wa, who was initially appointed to the Roads docket but immediately transferred to the Youth and Communications docket in a reshuffle that affected two other ministers.