, KISUMU, Kenya, Nov 9 – Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma has been given 90 days to vacate Prosperity House or start paying rent to the National Government.
Nyanza Regional Commissioner Francis Mutie revealed he wrote a confidential letter to the Governor last month, but Ranguma chose to castigate him in public instead of responding.
Mutie said he was acting on orders from the Principal Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government and Ranguma should not view the order as personal.
Over the weekend, Ranguma said he will not vacate the office and asked the government to scrap the position of Regional Commissioners.
Ranguma noted that with the advent of devolution, assets were being split between the National Government and County Governments and he was not ready to vacate the premises.
“Regional Commissioners now have no role, the National Government is battling a high wage bill and there is no need to pay salaries to people who have no work; they should be sent home,” he said.
Mutie explained that the two year transition period that had been given to Governors had expired and Ranguma ought to have constructed new county headquarters.
The RC said Ranguma was given one floor to set up his office and that of his staff but now, they have already taken up four floors without approval from the National Government.
“When the facility was being constructed, it did not factor in the office of the Governor and his staff, it only factored in National Government offices. Now there are government offices scattered within the city and must now be housed in the building,” he said.
He said he is a servant of the National Government and relays information from his bosses in Nairobi and wondered why Ranguma was making the issue personal.
Mutie said he told Ranguma to hand over the floors he is occupying since the transition period had expired or they renegotiate the deal.
“I know all Governors were given money to construct their officers… I am aware; we do compare notes with others, there is no any other place where the National Government has handed over its property to the County Government,” he said.
“Many Governors are putting up offices and Governor Ranguma has never bothered to put up an office block for the County Government,” he added.
He said he respects the Governor but will not let the National Government property to be taken over by the County Government.
On his role, Mutie said he is busier than before devolution took effect, explaining that he is coordinating a cluster of six counties and more within Western Kenya region.
The RC said he knows a lot of things about the County of Kisumu and if pushed to the wall he will reveal a lot of issues.
“I am also an investigator, there are things I have never told the people of Kisumu, I know this county very well, I have evidence but because of respect I will not reveal but if pushed to the wall I will whisper to the people,” he said.
The Governor’s office is situated on the second floor of the disputed building but early this year, the 9th floor was refurbished with an aim of relocating the Governor’s office.
Mutie has protested against the planned relocation noting that it was done without any approval from the relevant ministry.
He further said that the changing of the building name to Prosperity House is illegal.