The Taita- Taveta County Assembly has threatened to start a fresh move to impeach governor John Mruttu over his failure to discipline and sack incompetent and corrupt county executives and chief officers.
The county assembly particularly took the governor to task over his failure to dismiss three county executives who had been deemed unfit to hold office either due to gross incompetence or corruption.
On the firing line is the current executive for water and irrigation Mr Stephen Masamo and his finance counterpart Vincent Masawi.The county assembly also wants the acting roads and infrastructure county executive Eng Elijah Mwandoe benched and a substantive executive be appointed.
“Speaking during the tabling of a report titled “The Status and implementation of county projects, pending bills, wage bills, general performance and current state of the county government” at the County Assembly today, minority chief whip who is also Sagalla Ward MCA Godwin Kilele warned that failure by Mruttu to sack the incompetent Masawi and Masamo could trigger a motion to have the governor impeached.
“We are telling governor Mruttu that this time round it will not be business as usual and we are exhorting him to remove Masawi who has shown gross incompetence in his finance docket as we deem him fit in the livestock ministry of which he is an expert,” said Kilele, warning that Mruttu would have his image and that of the county government dented if he stuck along with Mr Stephen Masamo who was adversely mentioned in the misappropriation of funds during the bungled World War 1 commemoration celebrations about a year ago.
Mr Masamo, then executive in charge of Tourism, Gender and Sports, is believed to have spent over Sh33m for the event despite the fact that the county assembly had approved a lean budget of Sh 8 million.
The county assembly vowed not to approve any pending bills associated with the much discredited event.
Kilele at the same time called for the appointment of a substantive county executive for roads and infrastructure saying that this was a crucial docket which has for some time now being held by ministers in acting capacity.
“We are made to understand that this docket of roads and infrastructure is a cash cow where corrupt county officers and leaders get money to line their pockets and we are asking Mruttu to remove Mwandoe from the docket since the position was advertised long ago but so far no competitive appointment has been done,” said Kilele.
Also in the firing line was the County Secretary Patrick Meso who was deemed as incompetent and ignorant of what his job entailed.
“It's sad and regrettable that the county secretary who is the most senior officer in the county to hold the Authority to Incur expenditure powers to come to this assembly and fail to furnish this house with the details of how county funds from the treasury were used under his watch. This is unacceptable,” said minority leader Rachel Dawai Marura.
It was also recommended that the director of Budget Mr Benedict Mwabili be dismissed immediately for failing to raise to the occasion and answer questions pertaining to his portfolio during the just concluded grilling sessions at the CA.
The assembly further recommended that all county executives be surcharged Sh 3 million each incurred as milleage allowance of Sh 250,000 per month that they allocated themselves without the CA approval for the last one year
Three chief officers were also found wanting and were recommend for dismissal.
These are Bonventure Mwakio(Finance),Philemon Kachila(roads and public works) and Catherine Mwamuzi(public health).
The CA called for disciplinary action against Dr Mwamuzi for frequent deaths at Moi County referral hospital in Voi, lack of essential operating equipment in hospitals and lack of essential drugs in most health facilities.
Another county officer who has been in the public glare is one Mr Walter Machogu who was interdicted over a year ago as the supply chain director but who was still receiving a salary from the county coffers.
“Save our Queens”
The county Assembly also queried the source of funding for an amorphous outfit called "Save our Queens" that was being run at the behest of the county first lady Hope Mruttu.
“We are reliably informed that the Save Our Queens Campaign is being run with county funds but so far we have not been furnished with the budget for running the affairs of this organisation. We do not even know where its secretariat is based. This is against the law as all county first ladies in the country have been barred from using public funds for such projects,” said Kilele.
1:Governor John Mruttu
:2 CEC Stehen Masamo
3:Minority whip Gowin Kilele
4:The Taita-Taveta county assembly