Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu on Thursday unveiled a leaner cabinet as she sought radical changes to the current county annual budget to align it with her development agenda.
Mrs Ngilu named a new team, which includes Ms Mary Ndunge Nguli, who served as Finance executive in Kiambu County.
The Governor, who is seeking county assembly’s approval to change public spending priorities, reduced the number of county ministries she inherited from her predecessor Julius Malombe from 10 to eight.
She picked Nairobi lawyer John Makau to take over the Environment and Natural Resources docket, a former coordinator of Catholic Diocese development Emmanuel Kisangau for Agriculture, Water and
Livestock and 31-year-old Philip Mumo as Trade, Cooperatives & Investments executive.
Others are Ms Rosaita Ngina (Health and Sanitation), Mr David Kivoto (Education, ICT and Youth Development), Mr Jacob Kakundi (Lands, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development) and Mr Patrick Koki Musau for Tourism, Sports and Culture.
The list of nominees have been forwarded to the county assembly for vetting.
In her inaugural address the county assembly, Mrs Ngilu said the county budget passed by the previous assembly in March this year had misplaced and wrong priorities and must be restructured and aligned with her poverty reduction manifesto.
"Mr Speaker, you are familiar with the 2017/2018 county budget and you will agree with me that it largely does not reflect the pressing basic needs and priorities of Kitui people” she said.
The Governor poked holes in the fiscal plan saying it cannot be implemented as it is because that was a budget for another government.
The Governor told the MCAs that she plans to give about 200,000 households each with 2kgs of green grams seeds which will cost Sh100 million, hoping to generate Sh3.6 billion for Kitui farmers in the next three months.
“If each kilogram yields a bare minimum of 90 kilos this will give us a total of 36 million kilos” she said adding if the harvest was sold at a price of Sh100 per kilo it will earn the county an estimated Sh3.6 billion in one season," she said.
She said the plan is viable because the county has plenty of arable land but urged the assembly to make laws that shield farmers from unscrupulous middle men.
“We have to engage our people and start unlocking that mindset of poverty and handouts. We must unlock their potential and make laws that protect them from exploitation by middlemen” she said.
The governor said such initiatives will address youth unemployment and create wealth for locals.