A Cabinet crisis is looming in the Samburu County government after some of the executives opposed a reshuffle by Deputy Governor Julius Leseeto.
Mr Leseeto, who is the acting governor, assumed office after a court barred Governor Samuel Lenolkulal from undertaking his official duties as he is facing corruption charges.
The announcements by the acting county boss on October 24 were met with resistance even as he stayed put on the changes.
The angry executives, in a joint statement, said that the deputy governor’s decision had gone against the Constitution as he is not legally allowed to nominate, appoint or dismiss them.
He directed the executives to pick their deployment letters on Monday and asked those opposed to the changes to surrender government vehicles and “go home.”
The reshuffles were published in Kenya Gazette Notice No. 9984 dated October 25, 2019.
But in a rejoinder, the eight executives said that they will not allow themselves to be drawn into “political shenanigans”, affirming their commitment and focus on service delivery to the residents to enable successful implementation of the governor’s manifesto, vision 2030 and the Big Four Agenda.
“While we appreciate all portfolios are equal and each one of us is willing and able to serve in any department, any change must be made within the law,” they said in a joint statement.
The executives faulted the deputy governor for ignoring the County Governments Act, 2012 which they said states that the deputy governor has no powers to nominate, appoint or dismiss any executives.
“Those roles and duties are explicitly performed by the governor as stipulated in the Constitution,” read their statement.
They further argued that Section 32 (5) of the County Governments Act prohibits the delegation to the deputy governor any of the functions set aside for the governor which include dismissal, appointment and nomination of executives.
“Considering the foregoing, we the executives will remain in our current positions as were legally assigned by the governor,” they said.
The statement was signed by Mr Vincent Learman, Ms Irene Leluata, Mr Jonathan Leisen, Mr Benedict Lentumunai, Ms Dorcas Lekisanyal, Mr Peter Leshakwet, Mr Stephen Lekupe and Mr Peter Lolmodooni.
Mr Lekupe had been transferred from the Health docket to Finance, Economic, Planning and ICT, Mr Leisen from Public Works to Medical Services, Public health and sanitation while Mr Learaman was transferred from Agriculture to Education Youth and Vocational Training.
Others are Ms Lekisinyal who had been transferred from Finance to replace Ms Lentumunai in the Physical Planning docket.