, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 15 – Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua retained his post on Wednesday night after the Senate declared that the accusations against him did not meet the threshold for impeachment.
Gachagua had earlier apologised to the people of Nyeri for allowing the matter escalate to be played out in the national arena.
- In their presentation before Senate, the County Assembly, through lawyers Charles Njenga and George Ng’ang’a, maintained there were sufficient grounds for the county boss to be removed from office
- In a two-hour afternoon session, the lawyers presented evidence for each of the three accusations levelled against Gachagua including abuse of office, gross violation of the Constitution and breach of law
- The Nyeri MCAs have accused Gachagua of alleged irregular procurement processes, misappropriation of funds and failure to assent to the Sh6.4 billion budget and failure to appoint enough county executives
He promised to initiate reconciliation talks between him and the County Assembly leadership citing that service delivery must be at the top of every elected leader agenda.
“Looking at the issue that have been raised, at the end it will be clear what these issues are and whether they have been addressed and whether indeed the Governor can be asked to carry the cross,” Gachagua said.
“But talking now as a leader and the Governor in Nyeri, I want to say this, when the dust has settled it is important for us in Nyeri to sit down and get back on track of service delivery because even as we fight, even as we quarrel, even as we try to shift blames the real people getting hurt are the people of Nyeri and indeed me and the MCAs should apologize to the people of Nyeri for this thing and get on with our job,” he said.
He defended the appointment of the acting County Secretary Alice Wachira, saying she was qualified and properly vetted by the County Assembly contrary to the allegations by the MCAs.
“This particular lady, when her name came up and I was told (by the County Service Commission) confidentially why she was being suggested was because prior to her appointment she was the Chief Officer of Administration in which particular docket she was doing a lot of coordination work among the other dockets. Because of that I thought she would be good in terms of coordinating work as we seek for a substantive appointment for that position,” he said.
He asked the MCAs to allow Wachira to carry out her duties without victimisation or intimidation.
“Now immediately she came in, the heat started, because it is the office of County Secretary not holder, but this particular lady in my view, was made of a different kind of metal from the one who left – who was soft and could not stand the pressure of the office – and I think she took her work and took it very seriously, stood up to some of the MCAs. It is in that standing up and taking positions and being uncompromising that a lot of bad blood developed between her and the MCAs,” he started.
Among the grounds used by MCAs to impeach Gachagua was failure to dismiss Wachira.
The Assembly recommended her dismissal from office in July on grounds that she had not met the required qualifications, among them 10 years experience in a managerial position.
Members of the County Assembly (MCA) allege that Gachagua has not been able to account for Sh1.7billion.
The ward representatives are also accusing the Governor breaching the Constitution by running the county without a cabinet.
They also claim that the county government reallocated Sh740 million from development to recurrent vote without following laid down procedures.