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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 21 September 2014

NAKURU COUNTY EXECUTIVE SURVIVES IMPEACHEMENT



The fate of besieged Nakuru county lands and planning minister Rachael Maina hangs in the balance after a move to impeach her recently aborted.

The move appeared to have flopped amidst allegations bandied around that some MCAs were compromised with cash handouts to defeat the move.

The motion mover, Nakuru town’s Biashara ward MCA Stephen Kuria attempted to withdraw it purportedly to add more allegations against her but this was rejected by county temporary speaker MCA Samuel Tonui of Nessuit ward, Njoro constituency.

The ruling by Tonui caused an uproar in the house for close to half an hour which saw Kuria grab the microphone from Visoi ward MCA Edward  Gitau  after Gitau claimed Kuria was using the motion for his own personal whims.

The county assembly house started at around 2.30 pm and journalists were allowed inside contrary to reports that they would have been barred from the proceedings by a section of the MCAs.
In his presentation applying for more time to gather and produce more evidence, Kuria said a recent decision by Maina has caused him to withdraw the present motion so that he could support it with fresh evidence.

Before the county assembly house, Kuria said in the latest move Maina has hived off a 50 x 100 plot on the grounds of the Nakuru Old Town Hall grounds and allocated it to the Postal Corporation of Kenya in return to the establishment of the new Huduma Centre at the Nakuru GPO.

The Biashara ward MCA said the county lands executive’s move has caused an outcry from Nakuru residents adding it was illegal because the hall and its land are a national monument protected as a heritage site.

“I shall take back the motion in two weeks as this land was hived off under unclear circumstances,” added Kuria.

In the previous motion, Kuria had sought in his proposal for the assembly to remove the executive over among other accusations, alleged abuse of office charges following an order she reportedly made banning the subdivision of land below five acres within the county.

In his motion, Kuria had argued that the minister had exceeded her legal powers when making the order arguing only that the national assembly in conjunction with the National Lands Commission has such powers.

Although according to the county’s lands offices files, Maina has since reversed the five-acre land subdivision ceiling.

In a letter she authored dated September 15 this year, Maina said her office “regrets the heartache that the circular has caused to the leaders and members of the public and invites them to submit their subdivision schemes to the office for processing”.

The official circular further states: “The purpose of issuing the ban was to serve as a precautionary strategy to enable an indepth vetting of development applications (sub-divisions) to be undertaken”.

The number of MCAs who had signed approving her removal was initially 33 but the number during last week’s latest move had dwindled to 27 after six MCAs reportedly ordered their names to be removed from it.
According to a list in our possession, MCAs said to have changed their minds and want Maina to stay are John Gachiri of Rhonda ward, Nakuru Town West constituency, Samuel Kamau of Kiamaina, Bahati constituency and Monicah Gitau of Murindati, Gilgil.

Others on the pro-county lands minister are Stephen Kiarie of Kihingo, Njoro, Joseph Langat of Kapkures, Nakuru Town West and Hillary Korir from Amalo, Kuresoi South.
Nominated MCA Esther Njeri of Naivasha was among those angered that the day ended without the process of removing Rachael Maina from office was effected.

She said the minister’s directive on land sub-division showed she lacks any regard or respect for the downtrodden while forgetting that it was these poor people who enabled Governor Kinuthia Mbugua to be elected into office.

“I’ll never support her and she should go home,” said a bitter Njeri.
Naivasha ward’s Wanyoike Wanango accused the deputy speaker of bulldozing the decision to “kill the motion” contrary to the wishes of the majority of MCAs.

“He should not have terminated the proceedings until it was exhaustively debated and acted upon. There is nothing wrong with discussing such an executive because that is the role of the assembly,” he stated.