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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 21 September 2014

NZOIA REPS TARGET SPEAKER FOR TIGHTENING PURSE STRINGS

More than 30 members of the county assembly of Trans Nzoia county are reported to have finalised drafting a motion to impeach the speaker David  Sifuna, over what they claim is a plethora of misdeeds and irregularities. Sifuna on his part says he is being crucified for not allowing reps to use county cash any which way they want. This is likely to take the political tensions between Eugene Wamalwa and his nemesis Moses Wetangula to a new high.
The group of 31 MCAs led by their Tuiwan counterpart Francis Were alias Daddy want the former Mombasa-based lawyer Sifuna to go home for allegedly misusing the assembly funds, rampant corruption and clanism and nepotism when it comes to employment and use of unorthodox means to run the assembly like single-handedly using of the assembly cheque books when outside his duty station.
Also to be revisited is the speaker’s decision to use a whopping Sh16million ostensibly to spruce his official residence in Mlimani while a house of that magnitude would fetch less than a quarter of the amount in the open market.
But the stroke that broke the camel’s back prompting the MCAs to come with Operation Okoa Assembly was the recent action by the speaker to withdraw Sh3 million from the assembly’s coffers to meet the funeral    expenses of Matumbei ward MCA Ronald Matongolo of which Sh1.2 million remained at the speaker’s account while the remaining Sh1.8million was kept by his secretary instead of the financial officer or the clerk of the assembly Ainea Indakwa.
“We have detailed Daddy to rise to the occasion and lead the impeachment process next week immediately after we inter our brother. This county assembly can no longer be run like a personal advocate’s chambers or a kiosk in River Road,” disclosed an MCA conversant with the impeachment process.
The speaker confirmed that indeed   Sh 1.2millon was banked in his account while he was in Nairobi and the remaining balance was kept in safe custody with his secretary to carry on with burial arrangements of Matongolo and the money will be accounted for accordingly.
He said there was nothing wrong with keeping the money since it was an imprest that will be surrendered accordingly and accused some MCAs of malice.
He said he will not be cowed by impeachment motion and will deal with the issue when brought to the floor of the house.
Sifuna is accused of misusing the public service board to employ his relatives and clansmen without due process of the law. Those who want him impeached claim he used his office to employ his cronies even before they were cleared by the board recalling that one officer in the public relations department was employed to a post that had not been advertised, a claim he dismissed.
There are also claims that he colluded with powerbrokers to exempt former finance executive Andrew Wanyonyi from vetting. Wanyonyi has since been moved to agriculture ministry for alleged incompetence.
“Some of the people employed have not even met the requisite credentials as stipulated in the job placement advertised in the newspapers and as a matter of fact, the interview  is a mere formality,” claimed an insider.
Sifuna, an ally of Wetang’ula will  likely be replaced by the Kiminini MCA Vincent Kisaka one of the few graduates who is a strong ally of Wamalwa. He is expected to tender his resignation letter immediately if the impeachment motion succeeds, pitting Wamalwa and Wetang’ula in yet another war of supremacy.
Confirming the impeachment motion, Daddy said that he has so far acquired signatures from 31 out 38 MCAs and added that the train has already left the station.
“Initially we thought that after employing the clerk, much to the chagrin of the county speaker, sobriety and decorum would reign but alas-today the county speaker views the clerk as his shamba boy to be seen and not to be heard. The clerk has been excluded from all decision-making organs, ridiculed and accused of all sorts of allegations that he is conspiring with the county members, it is ridiculous,” said an MCA.
According to the MCAs, Sifuna differed with Indakwa after the latter advised him against carrying assembly documents to public places.
The clerk was dismayed that some people were reporting to work for unadvertised positions carrying with them letters which the speaker had given them the previous night.
“For example, recently some female students on attachment were allowed to draw allowances which nobody apart from the speaker was aware of,” confided a county insider.
The speaker downplayed the charges saying that efforts to impeach him had always been there.
“That wave will die a natural death because I am very focused in my mission. I play fidelity to the law and you will never get me at cross purpose,” he says.
He explained that some of the MCAs baying for his blood were the same ones who took money for trips abroad and failed to travel.
“These people want me to approve a foreign trip and once they get their stipends, they go round the corner and sneak back to the country. Once I want them surcharged, they decide to play hard ball,” said Sifuna, a lawyer of longstanding reputation.
“All the money withdrawn was not meant to go to the expenses of MCA’s funeral. We can’t be that extravagant. Some MCAs want to pocket money for their personal use,” he said.
The speaker denied any bad blood between him and the county clerk insisting that that was the creation of the county assembly members who know that the clerk is a bit lenient when it comes to parting with cash.
“The bottomline is that these MCAs are still suffering from the old mentality that the assembly must meet their roles like circumcising their boys and delivering their wives from maternity. What I am saying at increased risk of being voted out is that they must earn their salaries –period,” he said.
The speaker denied recruiting staff on clan consideration, adding that the employment roll was under the docket of the Public Service Board under the chair of the leader of majority Alfred Weswa.