I am clean, says Nakuru Roads Executive Lucy Kariuki

Sunday July 14 2019

Nakuru Infrastructure Executive Lucy Wanjiku Kariuki

Nakuru Infrastructure Executive Lucy Wanjiku Kariuki follows the proceedings at the county assembly on July 10, 2019 when she was summoned to answer claims of abuse of office and incompetence. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Francis Mureithi
By Francis Mureithi
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Nakuru County Roads Executive Lucy Wanjiku Kariuki, who is facing an impeachment motion over an alleged abuse of office, has said that she is clean.

The embattled executive's fate will be decided on July 16 when the impeachment motion against her will be tabled in the House.

The motion to send the former Kenya Pipeline Engineer home was adjourned on last Thursday after a disagreement on voting method.

Chaos erupted as two rival camps in the sharply divided 78- member assembly engaged in a shouting contest on the floor of the House, forcing Speaker Joel Maina Kairu to adjourn the motion.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Ms Kariuki denied claims by MCAs that she interfered with the implementation of the Boresha Barabara programme.

The project started by Governor Lee Kinyanjui aims at improving the dilapidated infrastructure in all the 55 wards.

“I did not interfere with the implementation of the Boresha Barabara programme as alleged. The implementation of the of the programme depended on the availability of funds and machinery which I did not have control over,” she stated in her written submission.

The ad-hoc committee led by Kaptembwa Ward Representative Peter Mwamba Kajwang claimed that Ms Kariuki is “unsuitable to hold the office”.

However, this might be a tall order as Ms Kariuki is believed to be key in driving Governor Lee Kinyanjui’s development agenda.

STREET LIGHTING

On street lighting, she said that the programme was facing challenges due to huge bills running into millions of shillings.

“The street lighting programme is currently not being implemented owing to concerns by the executive over costs of maintenance and huge bills,” said Ms Kariuki.

The programme has been put on hold as Governor Kinyanjui administration looks for lasting solutions to exercise prudence in the utilisation of the resources.

“A consultant has been engaged to advise the county government on the best way to light the streets without incurring huge expenses,” said Ms Kariuki.

She assured the committee that the funds allocated for the street lighting project were safe. Ms Kariuki denied accusations that she had deliberately failed to honour the assembly committee summons.

“My failure to honour the assembly summons was not deliberate, the notices were too short and clashed with my programmes,” she explained.

She said that whenever she failed to honour the summonses, she would either respond in writing or send a representative.

ABUSIVE LANGUAGE

On the use of abusive and derogatory language against Kuresoi and Molo residents, she said she had been quoted out of context.

“I am aware of the devastating effects such statements could cause. The statement could have been made because the region witnessed political upheavals in 1992. I come from the region and I have blood relations in Kuresoi and Molo,” she told Nation.co.ke.

Ms Kariuki, who denied claims that her office was inaccessible to members of the public and MCAs, said that poor service delivery could not be entirely be blamed on her office.

“Service delivery depends on the staff in the department, availability of resources and skills among the staff,” said the Roads executive who admitted that her department was understaffed and lacked skilled manpower.

PROCUREMENT

She also denied breaching any law relating to procurement of goods and services. The ward reps had accused her of interfering with the procurement docket by ordering it to award contracts to specific contractors.

However, she denied the claims. “I am not in charge of procurement, my role is to provide policy guidelines,” she said.

The select committee, in its 27-page report, has recommended Ms Kariuki’s dismissal.

“Governor Kinyanjui will be the main beneficiary if Ms Kariuki is dismissed as he will be able to push for his infrastructural development agenda,” said Mr Kajwang, the ad-hoc committee chairperson.