NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 – Employees who worked at Embu municipal and county councils will have to undergo vetting before they are incorporated into the new county governance structure.
Embu governor Martin Wambora says that the former council workers numbering hundreds will have to undergo screening to ensure the corrupt among them are weeded out.
“We have taken over the employees temporarily on acting capacity pending the recruitment of the Embu public services board who will vet them. The councils have been performing very badly and we are very suspicious of their performances. They must be re-interviewed so we retain the good ones. Those who will not meet the standards, we will have to dismiss them,” Wambora explained.
Wambora said the public services board which will vet the council workers will be constituted and be operational within seven days.
Nairobi governor Evans Kidero and Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho have also decried corruption in the councils they have taken over, with Kidero suspending four and Joho suspending 15 council workers within their first month in office.
Wambora made his plan to crack the whip on corruption public as he presided over a tree planting ceremony organised by the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) in Nyambwa Primary School in Embu.
At the tree planting ceremony KTDA board member Samuel Ireri brought up the contention between his agency and the Kyeni/Kagaari/Gaturi irrigation project over the waters of River Thuci.
Ireri explained that the two water projects set up along the river blocked the flow of water to their Sh400 million hydroelectric plant due to their high walls. “The two projects are preventing water flow. They were advised to change their design since they are obstructing the flow but they went ahead with the project. If we don’t get enough water, the project will become a white elephant.”
The hydroelectric plant was to start operations in November and provide two megawatts of electricity to the Mungania, Rukuriri and Kathangariri factories whose tea farmers contributed Sh188 million to purchase the land through which a water canal will pass.
Wambora assured Ireri that he was already working toward resolving the standoff by engaging the Runyenjes Member of Parliament Cecily Mbarire given Runyenjes Constituency Development Funds were used in executing the water projects.
“I have talked to Runyenjes MP and she has supported the idea. The hydroelectric power plant is a good idea,” Wambora said.
Wambora’s proposal is that a dam be set up in the Mt Kenya forest where the water projects can be relocated and his county government has already set aside Sh30 million for the feasibility study.