Samburu deputy governor barred from reshuffling cabinet

Samburu Deputy governor Julius Leseeto flanked by a section of leaders addresses media outside Samburu County Headquarters on October 28, 2019. (Michael Saitoti, Standard)
A court has barred Samburu Deputy Governor Julius Leseeto from reshuffling the county cabinet in the absence of governor Moses Lenolkulal.

In July this year, the High Court barred governor Lenolkulal from accessing his office until a graft case against him is determined.

Lenolkulal has kept off the affairs of the county since then.

On Monday, Leeseto brought business at the county headquarters to a standstill when he went to the county assembly to announce a new cabinet list.

The deputy governor's move came two days after county executives rejected his bid to move them.

Matters have been compounded by a court order issued by Justice Janet Mulwa who temporarily stopped the deputy government from implementing his decision to resign six members of the executive.

The order, dated October 28, 2019, was issued after a petition against the deputy governor and the county government seeking orders to stay Leeseto’s decision to suspend, transfer or interfere with the work of the CECs.

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“The petition and application attached thereto dated October 28, 2019 has been considered. I grant payer one and two. Serve and return for inter-party hearing on November 20,” ruled Justice Mulwa.

The petition was filed by Julius Lalampa, a resident of Maralal under Certificate of Urgency.

Lalampa argued that the deputy governor could not exercise any powers of the governor.

At the weekend, ward reps said the deputy governor’s decision went against the Constitution and that he was not legally allowed to nominate, appoint or dismiss CECs.

Leeseto made the announcement of the reshuffle in the presence of members of staff and the public that had gathered outside the county headquarters.

In the reshuffle, Stephen Lekupe was transferred from Health docket to Finance, Economic, Planning and ICT.

Jonathan Leisen was moved from Public Works to Medical Services, Public Health and Sanitation while Vincent Learaman was transferred from Agriculture to Education, Youth and Vocational training.

Dorcas Lekisinyal had been transferred from Finance to replace Benedit Lentumunai at the Physical Planning docket.

Lentumunai had been transferred to Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries while Peter Lolmodooni was transferred from Education, Youth and Vocational training to Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure.

The deputy governor had directed the CECs to pick their transfer letters by end of today or go home if they were opposed to the changes.

“These officers will be able to carry out their mandate to give service to Samburu people and we must start the journey today," said Leseeto.

“The officers should pick their letters before close of business today, if they don’t do it, I want them to park official government vehicles in this compound and move away,” he said.

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Julius LeseetoSamburu Deputy GovernorCabinet ReshuffleMoses Lenolkulal