By Faith Kerubo
Nyamira County Governor, John Nyagarama and controversy are Siamese twins. In the most recent turn of events the Auditor General Edward Ouko made damning revelations on colossal amounts of public funds that cannot be accounted for in expenditure incurred in the Financial years of 2016/17 and 2017/18. The total amount is close to a whooping Ksh. 1 Billion. Besides that his government is also said to have initiated projects at inflated costs and making irregular payments running into millions of shillings.
This report just emerged barely two days after the governor was blasted at a burial ceremony for appointing a 57 year-old relative to his cabinet which does not have a single youth in it. The governor in his response mischievously stated that all members of his cabinet were once youthful but age has caught up with them. Seven out of ten of members of the County Executive Committee are in their mid and late fifties while some are retirees from the civil service. “The governor seems not to have a place for youths in his government and this is unconstitutional,” lamented one youthful MCA at the public function.
Mid this year the governor was also admonished by the Catholic Church in the region for openly favouring his fellow SDA church elders in senior county government positions. The protest was led by a delegation of priests who paid him a visit at his official residence. Later the Kisii Diocese Bishop, Joseph Mairura wrote to the governor asking for religious inclusivity in the County. The governor promised to look into the matter.
The kitchen cabinet of the governor is made up of SDA pastors and church elders most of whose relationship with the 72 year old leader dates back to their boyhood.
The County Assembly is divided on whether or not to approve the name of Pauline Oyugi for the position of Minister for trade with the nominee already rumoured to be bribing some MCAs to have her nomination approved.
The Governor is currently battling a court case with his Deputy Governor who accuses him of having reneged on a pre-election pact between the two. This is in addition to another case filed in the Supreme Court in Kenya seeking to nullify the governor’s election.
The Controller of Budget in a letter dated 10th December, 2018 accused the governor of setting unrealistic own source revenue that is a clear contrast to the county’s historical trend in a bid to paint a rosy picture of the County that is on a financial wheel chair.
It appears the Governor’s cup is full and overflowing with controversy and it remains to be seen what he will opt to deal with first.