Pre-election pact haunts governor Mwadime

Taita-Taveta Governor Andrew Mwadime. [File, Standard]

A war of words has erupted between Taita-Taveta Governor Andrew Mwadime and the county assembly leadership over a pre-election agreement between the executive and health workers' union.

Yesterday, the assembly leadership petitioned the governor to immediately cancel the pre-election agreement saying as has affected the delivery of quality health services.

Majority Leader Anthony Mng’ambwa and Deputy Speaker Anselim Mwadime said according to the agreement, the governor was to appoint two health executives, CECM Health and County Chief Officer from health workers.

“The governor should erase that agreement as it is messing up the county. Let the unions remain unions. The problem is that the unions have become pure cartels in the management of the health sector following the agreement,” claimed Anselim.

The Mgange-Mwanda Ward Representative said the electorate had a lot of expectations in the county administration and challenged the governor to sack non-performing executives.

“We will not wait to go home in the next polls and all of us must deliver to the expectations of the local community. Those non-performing executives should be sacked,” he said.

Mng’mbwa said in the agreement, the health workers got two slots in recognition of the support they offered the governor in the last polls.

The Bura ward representative told the governor that some health departments are being managed by subordinates who have been making crucial decisions at the expense of their seniors, hence compromising the provision of health care services.

Mwadime admitted that he signed a pre-election agreement with the health workers union in the run-up to the last General Election.

The governor, however said the agreement was only meant for the improvement of welfare of the health workers and the sector and had nothing to do with appointments as claimed by the assembly leadership.

“The pre-election agreement in place was for improvement welfare of the health workers only and was not for political patronage and gain for some workers,” Mwadime said.

The governor clarified that workers are being recruited to replace those retiring and others whose contracts have expired.

He denied claims that he was recruiting his political allies, friends and relatives from his Chawia community saying all the workers reflect the face of the county.

Mwadime said he was not also harassing and intimidating workers on the basis of who they voted for in the last polls. “The transfers being undertaken are objective and not subjective,” he explained to the MCAs.

He said contrary to claims, the county is moving in a positive direction despite low revenue collection and delayed equitable share revenue.

The governor disclosed that they had received Sh403 million equitable share revenue from the exchequer and out of this Sh320 million will be used for staff salaries and the rest for development.

Mwadime revealed that the county has more than Sh1.4 billion pending bills which his administration is still grappling to settle.

“Elected leaders should stop fighting each other and instead focus on solving the myriad challenges facing the local community. I will do my best and voters will decide on the future destiny of the county in 2027. I will have no problem if I am voted out by the voters if they find out that I have done to their expectations and aspirations,” he added.

But the MCAs said the agreement was only meant for political patronage and has resulted in a bloated workforce.

They claimed that the deal was a hindrance to socio-economic development and delivery of quality services to residents and should be done away with.

Mng’ambwa and Anselim told the governor that ballooning wages and pending bills coupled with insubordination among workers have also compounded the slow pace of development in the region.

They accused the governor of allegedly not giving the executive and workers free hand to effectively discharge their mandate and those questioning his style of leadership are either transferred as a punishment.

He cited a health worker who allegedly had quarreled with his girlfriend outside the office but was transferred.

“The governor does not give his workers a free hand to discharge their duties and this has badly affected the delivery of quality services,” he said.

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