Kenya's Most Authoritative Political Newspaper

Citizen Weekly

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Reps say Nakuru health exec has professional question marks

Discontent is rife in the Nakuru county’s executives and other senior employees over the appointment and subsequent swearing- in of their county health minister.
This was after the appointment of Daniel Mungai as the county health minister that brought into sharp focus the capacity of the Nakuru county’s appointing and vetting authorities.
Some of Mungai’s fellow executives and senior officers at the county’s offices are agitated that his experience and integrity is questionable and that he should not have landed the portfolio.
Early September, the local county assembly adopted a report by the vetting and appointment committee that cleared Mungai amid uproar over integrity issues.
Prior to the adoption of the report and his subsequent swearing in, an MCA had alleged 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.
Documents were tabled before the vetting and appointment committee and later on the floor of the house where questions arose over his suitability to serve in the crucial docket due to his previous employment record.
Three letters dated April 22, May 24 and July 3 2013 showed Mungai had been suspended from duty on account of desertion and his salary stopped.
The May 24 letter written by a Nahashon Thiong’o for then PS Medical Services to Mungai stated that he deserted duty at Machakos District Hospital without permission or reasonable cause.
Another letter dated April 22 by JW Thuku for then provincial director of Medical Services, Eastern province showed that his salary had been stopped over the same reasons.
According to records of the proceedings of the vetting and appointment committee of Nakuru county assembly, the issue was raised by a member but the chair of the panel dismissed it on grounds that the petition was not formally presented before the assembly.
During the special sitting of the assembly that unanimously approved the appointment of Mungai, the issue was raised again by the Olkaria ward MCA Peter Pallanga but was ignored by members.
But when contacted, Mungai said he has what it takes to be a county executive as stipulated by the rules guiding counties affairs in the country.
Mungai’s appointment came after the county’s health docket remained vacant for a long time since the inception of the county.