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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 7 December 2014

PETITION AGAINST NAKURU COUNTY OFFICIAL WITH QUERIED DEGREE

A permanent secretary in the county government of Nakuru could lose her employment if a petition filed against her in the assembly sails through.
The petition tabled by a resident, Charles Mungai, is seeking the removal of Nakuru county PS for Tourism, Trade, Wildlife Management and Industrialisation, Edith Kimani.
The petition was listed recently for debate and read in the Nakuru county assembly.
The resident’s appeal before the Nakuru county assembly claims that Kimani was employed using a degree from an unrecognised Australian University hence invalid under the Kenya system.
The PS who is the daughter of Bahati constituency legislator Kimani Ngunjiri is said to have forwarded the degree papers from the educational institution which is not recognised by Kenya’s Commission for Higher Education.
Kimani’s papers were forwarded for scrutiny and determination by the relevant house committee of the county assembly which will make appropriate recommendations.
The assembly committee chaired by Turi ward MCA Michael Wang’ombe is expected to table its findings before the county house floor for debate with a view to either exonerating or impeaching the Bahati MP’s daughter.
When contacted, the embattled county PS said that her degree is genuine and recognised by the commission of higher education in the country adding that the resident’s claim are baseless.
But according to sources, Kimani attained the degree when the Australian institution had not been accredited as one of the institutions offering degrees.
It is said the institution is not recognised in the country or in Australia itself where the institute is situated by the time the besieged Edith Kimani attained her papers from it.
Further, according to the papers submitted to the county government during her application for the job, Kimani took only two years to attain her degree, an issue which is also questionable before the assembly.
During her appointment as PS on November last year, a cross section of residents and her then fellow applicants for the portfolio questioned her landing on the docket although the Bahati legislator, when asked, said she had applied as other applicants for the position.
Nakuru governor Kinuthia Mbugua could be on the spot at the end of the day if the PS is fired by the assembly as doubts persist over the suitability of other senior employees in the Nakuru county government.
Recently, the appointment of Daniel Kabii as health minister for the county brought into sharp focus the capacity of the assembly and the public service board to vet senior officials to serve in crucial dockets igniting a furore in the county.
Mid this year, the local county assembly adopted a report by its vetting and appointment committee that cleared Mungai Kabii amid an uproar over integrity issues.
Prior to the adoption of the report and his subsequent swearing-in, an MCA had alerted the house that Mungai had at one time deserted duty while working at the Embu Provincial General Hospital, prompting then Medical Services ministry to withhold his salary.
Early this year, the Nakuru Human Rights Network moved to court to stop the appointment of  Joseph Lenai as the county’s director of public health services, claiming he was unfit to hold public office.
Now Kimani’s fate as the county PS for tourism, trade, wildlife management and industrialisation hangs in a balance as she awaits the assembly’s verdict.