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Charity Ngilu and MCAs to mend fences

By Paul Mutua | Published Sat, August 11th 2018 at 00:11, Updated August 11th 2018 at 00:13 GMT +3
Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu.

In summary

  • There has been push and pull between her and assembly
  • Governor hopes week-long retreat will help convince the ward reps into supporting her pet projects

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and Wiper MCAs are headed to Mombasa in a bid to end a supremacy battle threatening to derail county business.

The battle springs from mistrust and differences over resource allocation and general management of public affairs in the county, pitting Ngilu against the majority Wiper Party and allied MCAs.

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Their differences spilled into the public when the MCAs rejected Ngilu’s six appointees to the municipal board, the county’s Emergency Fund Bill 2018 and County Integrated Development Plan 2018/22 on the floor of the assembly in a span of two weeks.

Smear campaign

There is also a heightened pressure by the legislators who are accusing Ngilu of “unfair labour practices” on county workers.

But the straw that broke the camel’s back was when Ngilu’s minority Narc MCAs and the Wiper brigade fought at the assembly, with each camp unleashing an embarrassing smear campaign against each other.

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Kyuso MCA Stephen Musili, who is also the House Majority Whip, said they are opposed to attempts by the executive to use them to rubber stamp faulty legislation.

Ngilu has accused politicians allied to Wiper Party of trying to frustrate her in a bid to derail development at the grassroots.

“Let it be clear that if the mistrust continues, I will retreat and seek other remedies. For one, I will bypass the leaders, particularly the MCAs, and reach out directly to the electorate to tell them who is derailing development in their respective wards and constituencies,” the governor said.

To avert the crisis, the governor and MCAs will tomorrow go to Mombasa for a week-long retreat to craft a better working relationship.

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Pet project

During a meeting at the Kitui Agricultural Training Centre, the MCAs told the governor they were fatigued about a number of issues which worked against cordial and mutual understanding between the legislature and the executive.

The governor had invited the ward representatives, majority from Kalonzo Musyoka-led Wiper Party, to convince them to support her pet project -- the Kitui County Health Insurance Cover -- and to cultivate a friendly working relationship between her government and the assembly.

Analysts say should efforts towards a lasting truce fail, Ngilu, who honed her political skills fighting the once invincible former President Daniel Moi, will revert to her political instincts and antics to defend her turf.

Further, she may use her new-found friendship with Kalonzo to whip the MCAs to play ball. But the MCAs say that their combined force in and outside the assembly can be used to tame the governor and force her to her knees.  

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