When Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro took over the reins of power on July 30 after Governor Ferdinand Waititu was dragged to court over corruption al-legations, his speech was filled with enthusiasm.
One of his key announcement was that he would seal loopholes especially in the revenue collection department that he had previously identified as one of the conduits used by his boss to allegedly abet corruption.
And to keep his promise and assert his powers, on August 15, he wrote a letter to County Executive Committee Member (CEC) for Finance and Economic Planning Francis Kigo Njenga informing him that he has been transferred with immediate effect to the Department of Trade, Tourism, Cooperatives and Enterprise Development.
“Pursuant to Article 179(5) and Section 30(2)(i) of the County Governments Act, 2012, you are hereby reassigned from the Department Finance and Economic Planning of to the Department of Trade, Tourism, Cooperative and Enterprise Development,” reads the letter dated August 15 signed by Mr Nyoro.
Mr Njenga is the former Gatundu North MP and his current docket was, in the new reshuffle, to be assumed by Mr Mburu Kang’ethe who is current county executive officer for Trade.
Mr Njenga did not respond to calls and text messages from Nation when contacted for a comment.
On August 19, Mr Njenga wrote to the County Attorney Waithaka Wanjohi seeking his interpretation on whether his reassignment is backed by law.
In his response, Mr Wanjohi told Mr Njenga that his reassignment by the deputy governor to another docket is not backed by any law and that it is unconstitutional.
“Section 32(4) of the County Governments Act provides that when acting in office as contemplated in Article 179(5) of the Constitution, the deputy governor shall not exercise any powers of the governor to nominate, appoint or dismiss that are assigned to the governor under the constitution or other written law,” reads the letter from Mr Wanjohi.
Efforts to get more details from Mr Wanjohi did not bear fruit as he did not respond to calls and text messages from the Nation despite having earlier promised to do it.
At the same time, a motion to impeach Governor Waititu over graft allegations has suffered a setback after Biashara Ward MCA Elijah Njoroge, who was fronting it, said he is being frustrated by the Finance department which has refused to provide some crucial documents which he says would help him buttress is case.
“The Finance department has refused to furnish me with crucial documents that would help me tighten my impeachment motion against Governor Ferdinand Waititu. I will be writing to the Director of Public Prosecutions Mr Noordin Haji next week seeking his intervention on why a public office should deny someone documents whose case is based on public interest,” Mr Njoroge told the Nation by phone.
He further allegedly said that Mr Waititu, who has an influence on majority of his county executives, has informed them that they should not attend any Cabinet meeting called by Mr Nyoro.
Mr Waititu has been barred from office for the duration of the case involving the irregular procurement of a Sh588 million tender for upgrading of various gravel roads to bitumen standards in Kiambu.
He is facing charges alongside his wife Susan Wangari Ndung’u and six others.
But Mr Waititu has always maintained that that the court only barred him from conducting the affairs of the county at Kiambu County headquarters alone but this does not reduce his executive powers to chair Cabinet meetings anywhere else he chooses.