Governor says not to blame for Nakuru speaker's woes - Daily Nation

Lee Kinyanjui distances himself from county speaker's impeachment plot

Friday June 15 2018

Lee Kinyanjui

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui at a past event. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By FRANCIS MUREITHI
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Governor Lee Kinyanjui has distanced himself from troubles that have befallen Nakuru County Assembly Speaker Joel Kairu Maina who is facing impeachment.

A section of leaders and residents have linked Governor Kinyanjui to the plot to impeach the county speaker over their allegedly strained relationship.

Speaking on Friday, two days after the impeachment notice was filed, the Nakuru County governor said he was above sideshows that will not bring development to the local residents.

Mr Kinyanjui said removing Mr Maina from office now during the budget-making process would be ill-timed.

“Logically, even if I did not want Mr Kairu to be the Speaker which in any case is not true, this is the wrong time and I am not party to it. Technically, I cannot support such an ill-timed move,” said Mr Kinyanjui.

“We are in the budget making process and I cannot initiate any underhand deal to push for the removal of the Speaker. I am a development conscious governor.”

Mr Kinyanjui denied the two have had a strained relationship, saying he has never accused the speaker of any wrongdoing since his election.

“I will work with the assembly and whatever decision they take regarding the speaker I will respect it so long as it is within the law,” said Mr Kinyanjui.

He said he will work with the assembly irrespective of the current stalemate.

“Whether they elect a new speaker tomorrow, that is none of my business because I am ready to work with whoever they deem fit to work with,” said Mr Kinyanjui.

FOREIGN TRIPS

An insatiable appetite for travel and benchmarking in foreign countries has fuelled the impeachment plot by a section of Nakuru County ward representatives.

The motion to impeach Mr Kairu is sponsored by Biashara Ward MCA Peter Njoroge Wanyanguthie.

Mr Wanyaguthie, a first-time MCA, in his grounds of impeachment accuses the speaker of denying ward representatives funds to go for benchmarking in foreign countries.

Already, six ward representatives currently in Arusha, Tanzania for benchmarking.

“We were allocated Sh15 million for foreign trips but only Sh9 million is available as the financial year comes to an end. What I am asking is, where did Sh6 million go? Mr Speaker must answer this integrity question,” said Mr Wanyaguthie.

NOMINATIONS

Mr Wanyaguthie also accuses the Speaker of ignoring ward representatives suggestions while nominating two members to the County Assembly Public Service Board.

He said nominated ward representatives Alice Kering and Cecilia Karanja were nominated to the board without the consent of other MCAs.

The 78-member assembly seems sharply-divided and it remains to be seen whether those pushing for the removal of Mr Kairu, who has served for only eight months, will carry the day.

Mr Maina was elected in September 2017 after defeating more than five contestants, including former Subukia MP Nelson Gaichuhie who had been fronted by the Jubilee Party.

Mr Maina served as Roads and Public Works boss in former Governor Kinuthia Mbugua’s government and his election caught the current Executive flat-footed.

DIALOGUE

Speaker Maina in an interview with the Nation urged the MCAs to shelf the impeachment since the issues they were raising could easily be resolved through dialogue.

“This period is critical as we need to discuss important matters about the budget. We need not dwell on the foreign travel funds as this is something the MCAs can fix in the next financial year,” said Mr Kairu.

The motion will now go to the House Business Committee, which has powers to reject or endorse the motion, for time allocation and determination of the day for debate.

At least 59 ward representatives must endorse the motion for the assembly to officially initiate the move to remove Mr Kairu.

On Tuesday, at least 55 ward representatives had signed the petition, meaning it was still short of four MCAs.

In December last year, the MCAs threatened to impeach Mr Kairu accusing him of failing to get them unsecured car loans and mortgages.

The previous month,  the representatives did not pass a motion for a two-month recess, saying they did not have money. Others said the House had not agreed on the issue of car loans and mortgages.