, MACHAKOS, Kenya, Jul 25 – The Machakos County Government has accused the County Assembly of misleading the public over the recent swearing-in of Cabinet Ministers.
The Assembly has claimed that Monday’s swearing-in of seven County Executives presided over by Machakos Chief Magistrate Alfred Kibiru was illegal and unconstitutional.
The government said the Assembly’s assertions that they have only met for 14 sittings was untrue.
“Records in our possession show that the members have earned allowances of over triple number of sittings during the period in question,” said the County Government in a statement signed by the Press Secretary Mutinda Mwanzia.
The Assembly Majority Leader Mark Muendo (Wiper) said the House has not sat for enough times to discuss the County Executive nominees that were sworn-in on Monday.
The names were presented on May 17 and the time lapsed on June 29 as per the Hansard records of sittings and order papers.
“It therefore follows that even the presentation of the committee report on July 18 was way out of time,” said Mwanzia in the statement issued to the press in Machakos.
Governor Alfred Mutua last Friday appointed seven ministers after the County Assembly failed to approve the nominees within 21 days as stipulated under the Appointments Act.
Mutua said he made the appointments in the best interest of Machakos people and in upholding the constitution and rule of law.
The governor added that his actions were necessitated by the Assembly’s failure to debate on the report resulted by interruptions seeking stoppage of discussion of the same.
“In exercise of the powers conferred to me by article 179(2)b as read together with section 30 2 (d), (e) and 35 of the County Government’s Act, 2012, I have appointed the seven as county executive committee members,” Mutua said.
Evelyn Mutie was put in charge of Energy, Lands and Housing while Engineer Morris Aluanga assumed the Roads, Transport and Public Works docket.
Titus Nzeki was appointed to head the County Administration and Decentralized Units.
Francis Mwaka takes over Trade, Industrialization and Innovation while Kimeu Mbithi has been appointed to head Public Service, Quality Management and ICT.
Urbanus Musyoka and Lazarus Wambua will take up Agriculture and Education dockets respectively.
Mutua said after his re-election, he nominated an initial five ministers and submitted them for vetting by the County Assembly.
“They rejected all the five nominees on grounds which many believe, were largely influenced by political biases than the legal requirements for vetting,” Mutua said.
He added that he held a series of consultations with the Assembly leadership and implored them on the need to set structures so as to accelerate development.
The consultations led to Mutua appointing three ministers from the outgoing Cabinet and nominating seven others for vetting by the Assembly.
The governor invoked section 9 of the Public Appointments Act on nominations, which stipulates that on expiry of the period for consideration specified in section 8, the candidate shall be deemed to have been approved.
The Machakos Assembly has been belligerent to the Executive and Governor Mutua has said the decision had been made in the best interest of the people.
“I swore to protect the constitution and uphold the rule of law at all times in the exercise of my duties as governor,” Mutua said.
At the same time, the County Treasury has been instructed by the government to exercise it’s responsibilities under Article 201 of the Constitution under the Public Finance Management Act to recover all payments made to each County Assembly Member over and above the admitted sittings.
“We are aware that in parliamentary practice, it is such that each sitting is counted as a day. Sometimes members can have more than one sitting as different parliamentary days but within one calendar day,” the County Government statement said.
Mwanzia urged Machakos residents not to fall into cheap propaganda from the county leaders in a bid to destabilize the county and derail Governor Mutua’s development agenda.