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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 15 September 2014


Trans-Nzoia  governor  Patrick  Khaemba will require a miracle in order for him to retain his post in the next elections as political arrows are arrayed against him. This is happening as Eugene Wamalwa is under pressure from voters to gun for the seat in the next lections.

The outspoken county secretary Sifuna Wakofula is one of those accused  of  making the governor unpopular and there are cases of some officers asking for sexual favours and bribes to help one land lucrative tenders and jobs at the county.

Wakofula contested the Saboti  parliamentary seat in the 2003  elections following  the demise of the former  vice president Wamalwa  Kijana  whom the Luhya nation held in high esteem. Wakofula  did  not go past the  Ford-Kenya  party primaries where he came last  with Davies Nakitare carrying the day  to the ballot  where he  eventually  became MP  trouncing Eugene Wamalwa in the elections proper.

Immediately  after  taking over  the powerful  portfolio of the  Trans-Nzoia    county  secretary, Wakofula  is said to have changed  drastically such that accessing  him  in his office and on  his phone   became a nightmare. He has even overshadowed the deputy governor so that when the governor is away, he doubles as the acting governor and the county secretary.

Some  decisions made by  the county secretary  will affect the political  career  of  Khaemba and come  2017,    it may likely be a walkover  for Eugene who is said to have started  early campaigns  and is set  to  become the  second governor  of Trans-Nzoia county.

Recently,  Wakofula suspended  over  20  junior  employees who for the past  five  months  have been surviving  on a half  salary. In his letter to the employees, the county secretary alleged that they could not account for some cash in the defunct Nzoia County Council.

Surprisingly,  money  in the  county  is said    to have  been misappropriated by senior  county employees yet  Wakofula  has interdicted none of them and instead, he has  decided to sacrifice the small  fish. Rumour  has it that  Wakofula  is investing preparing  to give a stab at  the Saboti  parliamentary  seat  come 2017, where he is likely to square it out with  the current MP  David Lazaro, the current speaker Trans-Nzoia county assembly, David Kinisu and Ken Simiyu  among others. Kinisu is a well known lawyer having practiced in Mombasa for many years. Wakofula is a former lecturer Kitale Technical Training.

Then there is Rev  Mwambu Mabonga, the governor’s political adviser, a former prison officer who resigned from the prison to vie for Bumula parliamentary seat in Bungoma county after having a short stint in former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka’s office as a political strategist in 2013 before he opted to resign to contest for the seat. He was  brought  on board  by the governor  three months  ago.

This  has left  many questions  than  answers  to  the  people  of Trans-Nzoia some have  even    wondered  why  import  somebody  from    Bungoma  county yet  there    are  so many  deserving  and qualified    people  in  this  county.

It is   being speculated  that  Mabonga is the   man  who has been misadvising the governor  on changes to make  in the county administration  and one case cited is when  the governor  decided to demote his  chief  of staff  Dickson Masindano and replaced  him with Bishop Julius Mbagaya  of the  Baptist  Church. Bishop Mbagaya contested Kiminini parliamentary seat on a Kanu ticket during the 2013 general elections where he lost to the current MP Chris Wamalwa. Masindano had earned a lot of enemies from the staff and locals in the name of defending the governor.

Mabonga who will be trying his second chance in the Bumula parliamentary seat come 2017 is the man that Governor Khaemba listens to nowadays and is said to be the man of the moment in the Trans-Nzoia county government.

Then there is Veronica Muthoni Okoth, the officer in charge of trade and industry in the county.   She is the only woman who calls shots in Khaemba’s cabinet but it is rumoured that soon, she may likely be transferred to finance.

Recently, she was involved in a shouting match with members of the press in one of the functions that was presided by the governor, which did not go down well with the governor’s entourage.
She told one of the journalists that Trans-Nzoia county and the governor will progress with or without the press.

According to locals, just like Wakofula, accessing Okoth in her office is a nightmare  as she has no time for residents of the county.
Many wonder from where Governor  Khaemba  recruited  the officer as she is  a disaster  in the management of affairs   in Khaemba’s  government .

John Ndombi, the executive officer is the man who has made over five abortive attempts to clinch the Saboti parliamentary seat.
Ndombi who is fond of driving  with  young  lasses in his  official car has done not helped  in Khaemba’s  government  public relations and more  so,  when he was  in charge  of the  roads in the county  where he is alleged to have spent  over  Sh1 billion  yet there is no work on the ground to justify that expenditure.

Other  senior  officers who are  contributing  to the political downfall of Khaemba include  one Fred Simiyu, the county chief  finance officer, the man has  made life   miserable to the contractors  and suppliers and has  literally  refused   to  pay the contractors  and suppliers  with allegations of demands for kickbacks.

Since  taking over as the CEO, he has become rich and is said to own several cars only three months since taking over. He has  opened   a private  procurement office  at  the  Kitale Information House  where  deals  are said to be  conducted  without  the knowledge  of the  governor.

Jamin Kwanusu, a senior accountant first came to the county   as government internal auditor but was promoted recently by the governor to his current portfolio.
Analysts say senior officers at the county are busy digging the political grave of the governor and that with Eugene laying strategies for the seat, Khaemba needs to think twice on the composition of his kitchen cabinet and go back to the drawing board.