Governor Mutua walks tight rope as row with MCAs over Cabinet rages

Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua appointed seven new CECs to add to another three whom he had retained from his previous Cabinet. [File, Standard]
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua's woes could be far from over after the County Assembly vowed to destabilise his government following the appointment of seven Executive Committee Members (CECs) without approval of the House.

The MCAs, most of them allied to the Wiper party, have threatened to bar the officers from working, terming Mutua’s appointment illegal and a mockery to Machakos people.

Last Friday, the governor appointed seven new CECs to add to another three whom he had retained from his previous Cabinet.

“Our people are hungry for development. I am saying enough with their (assembly’s) nonsense,” Mutua said as he made the appointments public. And in the spirit of his Chap Chap mien, the officers were sworn in on Monday in a ceremony presided over by Machakos Chief Magistrate Alfred Kibiru.

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“I do not want jokers; you either deliver or go home. If you are with us during the day but dancing to a different tune at night, you will have to go,” he said.

Some MCAs laughed off the appointments as the work of a delusional man running ahead of his time.

The MCAs on Tuesday passed a motion that sought not to recognise the newly appointed CECs, paving way for a vicious tug of war. The motion was passed by 26 Wiper MCAs against 12 for Maendeleo Chap Chap party.

“The governor is totally misled. We will not allow him to break the law with unconstitutional appointments,” Mark Muendo, the House Majority leader said.

Mr Muendo, representing the dominant Wiper party, added that their next step was to officially write to the Controller of Budget, Attorney General, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Central Bank to alert them that the CECs were illegally in office and should not spend public money.

“The law is clear that they (CECs) must be vetted and approved by the assembly, which has not happened. They were sworn in without our approval,” added the Kinanie Ward Rep.

The governor, however, said the Wiper MCAs, inspired by political biases, delayed approving or rejecting his nominees outside the legal time frame, leaving him with no option but to appoint them.

He explained that on May 17, he forwarded seven nominees to the assembly for vetting and consideration after his initial list of five was shot down by the House. The seven appeared before the Assemblies Appointment Committee on various dates in June.

According to a report seen by the Saturday Standard, all the seven were approved by the six-member committee chaired by Speaker Florence Mwangangi and recommended for appointment as CECs in different portfolios.

The committee then made its report on July 18, which was to be tabled in the House either for approval or rejection. It was never to be.

Alex Kamitu, the Minority Leader representing Mutua’s Maendeleo Chap Chap party, said on the day the report was to be tabled for discussion, a Wiper member moved a motion to stop the process citing the pending case at the Supreme Court regarding Mutua’s election as governor.

“It was in bad faith. They could have waited for the report to be tabled and discussed. It was sabotage at play,” said Mr Kamitu.

Quoting Public Appointments (County Assemblies) Approval Act, Section 9, Mutua said: “By failure to discuss the report, the House neither approved nor rejected the nominees as required by law… If at the expiry of 21 days the House neither approves nor rejects a nominee, that nominee shall be deemed to have been approved.”

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Machakos Governor Alfred MutuaExecutive Committee MembersWiper partymachakos county