Governor Muriithi to appoint new finance boss

The ousted Laikipia County CEC member for Finance Murungi Ndai (left) and Governor Ndiritu Muriithi inspecting a road in Nyahururu. [Christine Gatuka/Mt Kenya Star]

Laikipia MCAs have ousted County Executive Committee member for Finance and Economic planning Murungi Ndai for abuse of office. All the ward reps present during Monday session voted out the executive member after a select committee tabled a report recommending his removal from office.

The five-member committee led by Simon Kanyutu (Marmanet) has in the last 10 days been probing allegations leveled against Ndai on abuse of office and violation of the constitution.

“We had witnesses testify and the minister too gave his submissions. We have looked into the issues and the committee recommends he should be removed from office because he has failed to execute his mandate,” said Kanyutu.

Kanyutu told the assembly that Ndai had violated the law by appointing County Revenue Board chief executive officer Prudence Waithera without proper procedures. “The minister claimed that the CEO was on secondment from the national government but the letters brought to the panel clearly showed that the county government had employed her before being seconded,” said Kanyutu.

But Ndai defended himself in the House, terming the grilling by the committee as unfair and subjective. He said Governor Ndiritu Muriithi opted to seek secondment to fill the CEOs slot because the County Public Service Board is not structured.

“The witnesses were selectively invited by the panel. Why didn’t the committee call the governor to shed light on appointment of the revenue board CEO? I have not been accorded justice on the allegations leveled against me,” said the minster.

The committee’s chairperson however maintained that the hearing brought on board all the relevant witnesses and that the hearings were conducted in a fair manner.

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“We asked him (Ndai) if he would wish us invite the governor to shed light on Waithera’s appointment and he declined. He said there was no need for his boss to testify,” said Kanyutu. Other committee members included Daniel Mugweru (Umande), Chalumbo Kaparo (Segera), Peter Matunge (nominated) and Catherine Nyawira (nominated).

The lawmakers had unanimously voted to axe Ndai from the position, accusing him, among others, of failing to conduct public participation during the drafting of the finance bill. The MCAs complained that the announcement on public participation was done through a memo against the lawful procedure of gazzetting a notice and advertising in the media.

“I have never seen them do a public participation in Sossian ward. The residents there are as important as those near the county headquaters,” said Jacob Endom (Sossian).

Ndai was also accused of delayed payment of salaries to workers and irregular employment of staff. Prior to his oust, Ndai – through a memo – had indicated that there would be a salary delay for the month of May and June for staff workers.

This comes as county workers across the county down their tools over salary delays. The MCAs have so also passed a motion to remove from office executive in charge of trade, tourism and cooperative development Biwott Tirop. A five -member committee has also been formed to investigate allegations lodged against Tirop.

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Laikipia MCAsMurungi NdaiFinance CEC