A Nyeri County Government signage featuring portraits of Governor Mutahi Kahiga and Konyu MCA Eric Mwangi has been taken down after stirring public criticism.
The board indicating the construction of a pit latrine was brought down on Thursday night by unknown people after causing an online frenzy, with the public castigating the county government for unnecessary use of public funds.
Nyeri residents and netizens faulted the signage done at Kahara ECD centre in Konyu ward, Mathira terming it as a wasteful use of public money.
Chinga MCA Kiruga Thuku however defended the county's strategy of putting portraits of MCAs and the Governor of every project across the wards saying that it would tame unscrupulous contractors.
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Thuku said all ward reps resolved to have such boards put up so as to ensure projects are done to the required standards. “The truth about these signboards is that we found so much misuse of County funds by some unscrupulous contractors in the past regime."
"After a meeting between all the MCAs and county officials, it was agreed that contractors will be adding photos of the governor and those of MCAs to all boards for projects at no extra cost," said Thuku.
He added that there are other signboards in other wards so that MCAs take personal responsibility if contractors deliver substandard projects.
“The logic behind this is simply that no person would want their image to appear on these boards and have a shoddy job done. It is the MCAs who present these projects to the County Government on behalf of their people," he added.
The MCA defended the governor against the public opinion that he is seeking publicity saying that Kahiga did not attend the meeting when they agreed on the strategy together with officials from the department of infrastructure.
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“If having these photos on the boards is the price we have to pay to improve transparency and accountability in Nyeri County so be it. This formula has ensured proper workmanship on projects and saved us from losing money in shoddy projects,” Thuku added.
The project has caused a division between the Governor and his deputy Caroline Karugu who has since distanced herself from the project terming it is extremely unfortunate.
"I wish to dissociate from these persistent cheap publicity stunts and I consider them extremely unfortunate and ill-advised," said Karugu.