NYERI, Kenya, Feb 27 – Ambassador Samuel Wamathai on Monday became the second Governor of Nyeri county following the demise of his predecessor Nderitu Gachagua on Friday.
Wamathai who previously served as Gachagua’s deputy was sworn into the office in keeping with Article 182(2) of the Constitution which states: “If a vacancy occurs in the office of county governor, the deputy county governor shall assume office as county governor for the remainder of the term of the county governor.”
In his inauguration speech, the soft-spoken career diplomat assured Nyeri residents of his commitment to service delivery of devolved functions.
He eulogised his predecessor as a brave man of immense intellect and brave and pledged to safeguard his legacy.
Wamathai in a matter of fact fashion also issued a strong warning to county staff who may have intentions of engaging in corrupt activities, pronouncing that he will not tolerate anything less than total transparency in his administration.
“Being Governor of Nyeri, I will not tolerate slightest acts of corruption from county staff and I will therefore be demanding total honesty and high level of integrity in the way of conducting county business,” he said.
The County under the leadership of the late Governor was facing serious allegations of massive embezzlement of public funds that landed him before Senate after an impeachment motion successfully made it through the county assembly.
During the occasion presided over by High Court Judge Jairus Ngaa, several speakers called on county political leaders to bury the hatchet for the sake of Nyeri electorate and development.
Council of Governors Chair and Meru Governor Peter Munya challenged area leaders to honour the late Governor, who he described as selfless, by forgetting their political differences.
“The impeachment to me was very untimely knowing too well that the Governor was sick and therefore needed time to recover with no disturbance. It was wrong for those who did it but let bygones be bygones,” Munya remarked.
Area Senator Mutahi Kagwe, younger brother to the late Governor Rigathi and aspiring Nyeri Women’s representative Rahab Mukami also made similar sentiments during the occasion.
Kagwe who is eyeing the Governor’s seat in the coming elections said that Gachagua had never ignored him whenever he sought clarification on matters raised by the Auditor General and the County assembly.
He said that many had accused him of being sympathetic to an allegedly corruption administration but he defended himself against said accusations by stating that he simply did not conduct his oversight responsibilities in the full glare of the media.