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Petition to dissolve Taita assembly hits 52,000 signatures – Weekly Citizen

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Taita-Taveta governor Granton Samboja has launched a scathing attack against a section of bishops in the county dismissing them as “mercenaries” after the prelates called for his resignation over his stand to dissolve the county government.
This is happening as 52,000 voters in the county have signed the petition to dissolve county assembly over impropriety by members of county assembly.
A visibly upset Samboja said he is not one to engage in pulpit politics but he would not allow the bishops to cast aspersions on his integrity and commitment to fulfilling his pledges to the residents of the county.
The governor signed a memorandum to dissolve the devolved unit over a budget impasse with the county assembly.
He said the move was necessitated by wrangles over Sh830 million that the MCAs allocated themselves through the ward development fund.
The county assembly had passed a Sh5.3 billion budget with each MCA allocating themselves Sh41.5 million for projects in their wards.
“There is no medicine in county health facilities. Water is a challenge to many residents yet they want to allocate themselves huge sums of money,” he said while defending the petition.
The constitution only allows for suspension of a county government by the president in case of an emergency arising out of internal conflict or war; or in any other exceptional circumstances.
But a county government cannot be suspended unless an independent commission of inquiry has investigated allegations against the county government and the president is satisfied that the allegations are justified.
The senate has to authorise the suspension, which can only be for a period of 90 days.
On expiry of the 90 days, the law allows for an election to be held.
On his war with the clerics, Samboja said most of the bishops who were demanding for his resignation had supported his decision to dissolve the county following a budget impasse with the county assembly.

Governor Samboja

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“They were here with me and I shared with them my frustrations over the budget matter. They wholly supported the idea of dissolving the county government,” said Samboja.
The attack against men of cloth came shortly after a Taita-Taveta Bishop Association issued a hard-hitting statement that criticised the governor for his unyielding stance to dissolve his government.
TTBA is a consortium of bishops largely drawn from pentecostal and evangelical churches in the county.
Through the TTBA chair Ronald Itambo, the prelates alleged that Samboja had spurned all efforts to bring him to the negotiation table to unlock the budget crisis with the county assembly.
“He refused to sit with the MCAs and other stakeholders to resolve this matter peacefully and this shows it is difficult for him to work with anybody who differs with him,” read parts of the statement.
The bishops stated that the county should not be dissolved as this would bring vital services to a halt.
In a heated rejoinder from his office in Wundanyi, Samboja termed the bishops as liars and extortionists bent on benefiting from the crisis.
He revealed that some members of the bishops’ associations had been secretly calling his aides to plan for a meeting in hope of getting some allowance.
“We have no interest in dealing with mercenaries for hire. We should be discussing how to increase allocation for our hospitals to alleviate the suffering of our people,” he said.
Samboja stated that over 52,000 people had signed the petition to dissolve the county government yet bishops were not addressing such concerns.
He stated that the signatures would be forwarded to Uhuru Kenyatta as demanded by thousands of residents who want the county dissolved.

Samboja

Recently, TTBA gave Samboja an ultimatum of three days to convene a meeting with them to discuss the county crisis. The bishops alleged that the governor had failed to honoir three invitations from the association.
However, the county assembly was praised for honouring all invitations and giving their side of the story.
Observers say this bare-knuckle confrontation virtually extinguishes any hope of mediated-reconciliation between the executive and the county assembly arms of the government.
Shedrack Mutungi, the executive secretary of Kuppet in the region, said the only mediation that would work would be for the county assembly to pass the executive budget as a gesture of goodwill on their part.
“The signatures and mediation will become meaningless once the county assembly addresses the budgetary issues that created this mess,” he said.

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Row simmering at Nyamira county assembly – Weekly Citizen

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A row is simmering at the Nyamira county assembly after MCAs allied to Nasa ousted their majority leader Duke Oyagi last week.

In a swift move that was endorsed by 11 MCAs out of the 21 required for the removal of leader of executive business in the assembly, the ward reps cited dishonesty and abuse of his office as major misdoings that prompted the removal.

As the new year dawned in Nyamira, the Nasa MCAs were busy laying course for the impeachment of Oyagi whom they replaced with Nyamaiya MCA Raban Masira who was also serving on the seat during the previous house.

They said the ousted leader was busy promoting his self-interests at the expense of his colleagues.

Among the accusations are claims that he used the name of MCAs to solicit unspecified amounts of cash from both the county executive and national government officials, monies which they were never given.

They also accused him of not sharing monies that were given to him on behalf of all the 35 ward reps for official functions to Bomet and Mombasa counties on separate occasions.

They also accused him of deliberately delaying the processes of vetting chief officers who were nominated by executive.

“We need a house leadership of integrity and honesty. We have tried to put up with the misdoings which have prompted our action but its not proper for an assembly of laws and order to tolerate such misdoings,” Kiabonyoru MCA Duke Omoti said.

In a letter dated January 2 2020 and addressed to speaker Moffat Teya and signed by deputy majority whip Lilian Nyamweya, the MCAs wrote: “We notify your office as Nasa coalition that changes have been made in the office of leader of majority. We hereby reference to outgoing Duke Oyagi and incoming Raban Masira as our new leader of majority. Kindly make necessary arrangements to this effect to enhance on service delivery for the party and for the Nyamira county citizens.”

However, Oyagi said he had no knowledge of the letter which already has been received by the offices of the speaker and that of the assembly clerk.

“Any business concerning the assembly and its leadership can only be valid while the house is on session and the matters communicated by the speaker. But so far, I am not aware of any communication and I am treating anything of the sort as rumour,” Oyagi said.

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Outgoing Majority leader Duke Masira (left), his Bogichora Ward counterpart George Morara and the new majority leader who is Nyamaiya Ward MCA Raban Masira recently vetting County Chief Officers.

Oyagi vehemently denied all accusation which the MCAs were leveling on him and accused them of blackmail.

Such was the standoff that saw Omoti ousted from the seat of deputy speaker and replaced by Robinson Mocheche (Bonyamatuta).

In another turn of events Nyamira county assembly majority chief whip Alfayo Ngeresa has dismissed the purported meeting of members of the county assembly which ousted the leader of the majority.

Ngeresa retaliated that as the chief whip, he was the one entitled to make any communication to the speaker pertaining any meeting meant to bring changes in the majority leader’s office and therefore the communications which was done by his deputy Lilian Nyamweya to the speaker and the clerks office were null and void.

The MCAs are fighting over bribes which they are given by the county executive committee members in a bid to protect them.

Weekly Citizen has also established that the MCAs three weeks ago failed to pass the supplementary budget because the county executive had refused to give in to their demand of Sh10m before passing the budget

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New political wave hits Jomvu constituency – Weekly Citizen

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As the clock ticks towards 2022 general elections, aspirants eyeing Jomvu parliamentary seat have hit the ground with campaigns aimed at endearing themselves to voters as part of their efforts to unseat the incumbent Badi Twalib.
Badi who is doing his second term continues to have frosty relations with senior and powerful politicians in the port city including Mombasa governor Hassan Joho due to his involvement with the tanga tanga political wing associated with William Ruto.

Joho

Governor Joho who bears overbearing influence on Mombasa county politics has declared total war on the MP, warning that he will not recapture his seat again after betraying his ODM party.
Among those angling to replace Badi in Jomvu includes Kilindini Knut executive secretary Dan Aloo who has already declared interest to vie for the seat come 2022 polls. He contested for the seat as an independent candidate in the last general elections and lost to Badi.
The teacher is said to be having a strong political influence on residents in the constituency.
Aloo is also claimed to be enjoying backing from allies of ODM leader Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta, who see him as the best alter.
The Knut official has in the recent past been spreading his political wings across the constituency in what many see as his attempts to outbalance Badi’s influence and be able to use the handshake to build a political base ahead of 2022 general elections.

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Badi

He is said to be capitalising on Badi’s failures to portray himself as the solution to various problems facing residents including the volatile land ownership and lack of piped water. He has organised several demos against cartels in the water supply chain fleecing the constituents.
Jomvu which was hived off the larger Changamwe constituency before the 2013 polls has many unresolved land disputes in the 32 settlement schemes that include Aldina, Kibarani, Ganahola and Maganda. The constituency is home to Bangladesh – the largest informal settlement in Mombasa.
Thousands of residents have also been displaced by heavy transport companies, which have built Container Freight Stations, motor vehicle garages and storage yards without compensating them. Aloo has vowed to ensure those displaced are compensated for their land.
The land on both sides of the Mombasa-Nairobi highway from Jomvu Madafuni, Mwamlai in the South West, Kwa Punda and North East, all the way past Mikanjuni, Zaire, Jomvu Primary School to Mbuyu wa Chapa in Jomvu Kuu, is said to be owned by a few tycoons.
Aloo is using his elaborate network to propel development initiatives like ‘Watoto Wote Shuleni Whatsapp Foundation’ that has seen him work together with the ministry of Education and wellwishers to support children in the constituency to easily and affordably access education since 2018.

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Maseno High School principal on the spotlight – Weekly Citizen

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Concerns have been raised over allegations that Maseno High School principal has secretly increased school fees against the government guidelines.
The troubled principal is seen to be courting trouble with the no-nonsense Education CS George Magoha following claims of dirty tricks employed to increase school fees at the old school.
According to multiple sources the school, principal Andrew Buop recently convened a parents’ day meeting that left tongues wagging after the occasion was turned into a platform to hike school.
Buop who is fighting a tainted past following his style of leadership was the architect of a plan that may likely put him under the scrutiny of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the ministry of Education.

EACC boss Twalib Mbarak

To make it appear as if the decision was a brainchild of the parents themselves, those in the know said that the principal hosted some parents perceived to be influential and communicated to them his agenda prior to the meeting day.
The said parents, ostensibly on his payroll strategically positioned themselves in every corner and their work was to maddeningly shout in support to the principal proposal for higher fees.
Despite warnings from CS Magoha against principals increasing school fees ahead of opening, sources told Weekly Citizen that Buop managed to outsmart innocent parents by approving additional fees, now haunting him.
Speaking at Kenyatta University where Equity Group was unveiling this year’s Wings to Fly scholarship beneficiaries, the CS told principals to adhere to the fee guidelines as indicated by the ministry adding those who violate the directive will face consequences.
Buop denied the allegations and in an SMS to this writer stated that the school only charges authorised amount and those complaining should challenge by proof if they use a different fee structure from that provided by the ministry of Education.

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CS Magoha

It is a common knowledge that principals across the country have devised clever ways to increase fees after the government issued a standard package.
The government recommended fees is Sh53,554 but some crooked principals have blatantly defied the orders and devised ways to increase fees adding more burden to parents.
One of the tricks being used to swindle parents of their hardearned cash is through publishing fees structure for one term as opposed to the whole year, which is the requirement by the government.
For Maseno High School a section of parents are concerned following what appears to be a back to back negative news since Buop controversially joined the school from Homa Bay High school.
In 2017, Maseno school board of management grudgingly resigned following the replacement of former principal Paul Otula by Buop.
The board made up of 10 members, expressed disregard for the newly-recruited principal claiming he had a tainted past.
Otula was sent on a compulsory leave after a Form One student was allegedly sodomised by students.
This caused Maseno students to boycott classes demanding Otula be reinstated.
Board chairman Carey Orege said investigations over the sodomy claims were carried out in a crude manner

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