Mandago takes swipe at Cabinet Secretaries Matiang'i, Nkaissery
By Silah Koskei and Titus Too
| September 29th 2016
A defiant Governor Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu County landed in Eldoret to a rousing welcome after recording a statement with the police in Nairobi.
Eldoret town came to a standstill as residents flocked Oginga Odinga Street to catch a glimpse of the governor’s motorcade as it made its way from Eldoret International Airport.
The residents had waited for hours after word went round that the governor was expected.
Addressing the residents, Mr Mandago took a swipe at Cabinet secretaries whom he accused of not performing their duties well.
He specifically singled out Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his internal security counterpart Joseph Nkaissery, whom he accused of abdicating responsibilities on matters affecting the public.
He called on Mr Nkaissery to focus on the growing insecurity across the country.
“We are concerned about those CSs led by Dr Matiang’i who have said they will not talk to political leaders. They need to be told that they should not run away from their responsibilities that are crucial to the public whom we represent,” he said.
He also singled out the Agriculture and Roads ministers. Mandago asked Willy Bett (Agriculture) to revise maize producer prices to cushion farmers whom he said had challenges in the sector.
“The CS should ensure that maize prices rise from Sh2,300 to Sh3,000 per bag because farmers have suffered a lot due to crop diseases that are likely to prevent them from having a bumper harvest this year,” he added.
The governor said appointees to the Cabinet needed to be picked from among those who had sought elective positions, saying they understood the wishes of citizens and how to address them.
“It is evident that former politicians led by Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri and Charles Keter (Energy) have performed exemplarily well compared to the likes of Matiang’i. Schools have been burning and right now, institutions across the country are staging demonstrations,” said Mandago.
He said Nkaissery should not interfere with matters raised by aggrieved Kenyans but instead focus his energies on the growing insecurity in the country.
He challenged the national government to ensure that unfulfilled infrastructural pledges including road networks raised by locals were addressed.
Mandago and his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart, Alex Tolgos, and Kapsaret MP Oscar Sudi were questioned at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations on allegations of incitement to violence concerning the Moi University vice chancellor saga.
Mandago said he had no apologies to make and would stand his ground and demand appointments on merit. He observed that leaders had a role to address any issues raised by locals and that they should be given a hearing.
“We are in Jubilee government to stay and it is enough. We will never allow people who are working hard in the public service to be demoted on flimsy grounds, along with those who are denied jobs yet they qualify on merit,” he added.
A jubilant Mandago, draped in the traditional ceremonial plant (sinendet) and accompanied by his deputy, Kiprotich Chemno, and a number of MCAs, stopped to address hundreds of residents on their way from the airport.
Separately, Moi University acting Vice Chancellor Laban Ayiro rallied the country to back his leadership at the institution.
“There has been a lot of negative publicity surrounding the leadership of the university. I hope the country will support us through our troubles as our civil engineering department hosts the engineering forum to see how EuroCodes can be implemented,” Prof Ayiro said.
He spoke at a joint meeting between Moi University and Kenya Bureau of Standards in Nairobi Wednesday.
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