Nyaribo unveils lineup as he rolls out his plans

Amos Nyaribo being sworn in as governor at Nyamira Primary School last month. [File, Standard]

Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo has unveiled his new-look government.

He named his preferred deputy and the 10 executives he would like to work with to deliver on his mandate and promises to locals.

In a surprise move, Nyaribo nominated James Gesami to be his deputy, ending days of anxiety. Samuel Maiko, who served under Nyaribo’s predecessor John Nyagarama in the Environment docket, has been moved to Lands and Physical Planning to pave way for Thomas Ondieki, a new nominee.

Peris Mong’are will resume her role in the department of Agriculture while Gladys Momanyi, who was in the Education docket, will take over the Health department.

Jones Omwenga got another lease to serve as the executive for Roads and Public Works. He had been sacked by Nyagarama. Omwenga headed the Finance and Planning docket between 2015 and 2016.

Thomas Nyarik was nominated as the Public Administration executive. He served as a deputy county secretary in the previous regime.

And Grace Nyamongo, who unsuccessfully vied for the Nyamira Woman Representative in 2017, will head the Gender department while Harisson Momanyi will take over Education department.

Emily Ongaga was appointed the Finance and Planning executive while Stephen Onwong’a will be in charge of Trade.

Nyaribo said he had to retain some of the executives who served under Nyagarama for continuity and consistency in delivery of services.

The County Assembly will vet the nominees.

Nyaribo urged MCAs to approve the nominees if they wished him well.

“I don’t expect them to delay because if they do, then we shall lag behind in doing what we have to do for the short time,” he said.

With less than two years to deliver on his legacy projects, Nyaribo will be a key player in succession politics as he is keen to run for the county top seat in the 2022 election.

The governor is barely a month in office but like any Nyamira resident, he understands he has a huge task ahead of him.

For years, the county has had a sky-rocketing wage bill, internal wrangles and stagnated development, all pointing to a nearly collapsing administration.

Stalled projects

Nyaribo will have to complete stalled projects that have eaten into tax payers’ money since 2013 through alleged corruption in procurement processes.

For instance, the 2017/18 Auditor General’s report indicates that locals in Nyamira County were denied effective service delivery due to under-expenditure of Sh1.2 billion, which amounts to 64 per cent of the total development funds in the county.

Nyaribo says he will devolve county government services to sub-counties in the first 100 days of his government.

“Even with the promise of reforms and initiating various development projects, we continue to face various challenges. My government will aim to double revenue collection by applying technology and stopping pilferage of collected revenue,” said Nyaribo.

Wage bill

In his inauguration speech a week ago, Nyaribo did admit that the county has a wage bill which is way above the required limit of 35 per cent of revenues.

In 2019, Nyaribo had raised queries on an alleged illegal recruitment of county staff and existence of ghost workers in the payroll. Nyagarama later dismissed the claims.

Robin Achoki, a former senior official at the National Treasury, says heads must roll to salvage the county and save locals from losing more public funds.

In the next 18 months, Nyaribo says he will focus on completing county flagship projects that include the county headquarters, Manga Stadium and the Nyamira County Doctors Plaza.

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