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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 14 September 2014

TENDER GAMES PIT NYANDARUA GOVERNOR AGAINST DEPUTY



What started as a misunderstanding between the Nyandarua county governor Daniel Waithaka and his deputy Waithaka Mwangi has now turned out to be an act of betrayal between the two leaders.

A source well-versed with the secret wars between the two leaders revealed that the two have been having frosty relationship with the governor accusing his deputy of plotting to topple him.
It is now claimed that the report tabled last week by the County Assembly’s Public Investments and Accounts Committee which implicated the governor and other chief officers is part of the process to kick the governor out of office.

Last week, the governor accused his deputy of working in cahoots with some MCAs to impeach him. According to the report which has sharply divided the county assembly, some MCAs are now threatening to institute impeachment proceedings against the governor.

Apart from the governor, the report recommended further investigations on former county secretary Isaac Githui, finance officer Jesse Mwangi, former head of supplies chain management Ephantus Thigah, works officer LN Musili, quantity surveyor, JK Ngigi and project architect OW Wasike.

The governor is said to have also pointed accusing fingers at the Public Investments and Accounts Committee chairman Sylvester Kigiri and his deputy Suleiman Kihika of being used to fight him through fictitious and cooked up reports. Others in the committee include Peter Mwangi, Teresiah Njoki, Dorcas Nyambura, Tiziana Wanjiru and Peter Kairu.

According to sources well-versed with the power games within the corridors of power at the office of the governor, the deputy governor has now spilled the beans on the cause of the bad blood between him and the governor.

We have gathered that the two fell out over the Sh54m contract the county government gave Israel-based Tuhar Group International Company to draw up a water masterplan.
Sources say that on April 30 2014, the governor left his deputy chairing an executive committee meeting, saying he was going to Nairobi to sign a memorandum of understanding with the government of Israel with regard to water provision in the county.

“I told him that was a good move but only came to learn after two days from the media that what he had gone to sign was an agreement with an Israeli-based company but not an MOU with the government of Israel itself,” said the deputy governor.

He was later given the contract documents on May 22 with a written instruction to go through them and advise. On the same day, water executive Grace Gitonga gave him a copy of the contract dated April 25 2014 and a letter dated April 27 2014.

“I looked at the contract document vis a vis the other one brought by the CEC member and noted serious flaws that needed a discussion between me and the governor. I wrote to the governor to that effect. The governor never bothered to ask about the issues I had found wanting in the contract document,” he said.

The first flaw was that the government had single sourced the provision of the service illegally and at an exorbitant cost. The deputy governor said his boss provoked him to go public about their differences because the governor “badmouthed” him during a fundraiser at Evangelistical Church of Kenya in Kinangop constituency.

Back to the controversial report, it recommends that the governor be further investigated in connection with Sh21.9m allegedly spent on office renovations. The report reveals that Sh12.8m had been earmarked for the renovation of a private building identified as the county headquarters. However, the county chiefs are said to have inflated the figure to Sh21.9m.

According to the report, the governor and some chief officers have failed to explain how a Sh12.8m tender awarded to a contractor for the repair of two floors and a car park escalated to Sh21.9m.

Also caught in the wars is the executive committee member for finance John Ngaruiya who also claimed that whereas repairs on one of the floors cost Sh2.9m while those on second one cost Sh3m while the car park repairs consumed Sh3.7m.

To show that the report was used to settle scores, the governor claims that the recommendation that action be taken against the officers responsible for inflating the renovation cost. They report further recommended that the governor and the chief officers should be investigated further by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

But in what is now seen as a fight back, the governor has now turned heat on his deputy whom he now demands should bear the blame for onsite changes of the original figures to increase the cost from Sh12.8m to Sh21.9m.
It is also claimed that the county government also received Sh61m for the renovation of former Ol Kalou Town Council offices but no one has explained where the money is. The county also spent Sh3.6m to pay the annual rent upfront and the car park’s monthly rent at Sh50,000.