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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 9 February 2015

Machakos MCAs disown Mutua after bribery cash runs out

A promise is a debt as the old adage goes. Members of the minority parties in the Machakos county assembly have now threatened to spill the beans and scuttle the county operations.
For the first time, the 18 MCAs have called for the sacking of five chief officers of the county government over underperformance and graft cases.
Led by the assembly’s minority leader Thomas Kasoa, the MCAs asked governor Alfred Mutua to sack the sofficers before the assembly reopens.
The said officers included Nimrod Mbai of decentralised units, Jackson Kala (education), Jeremiah Lemi (water), Jacinta Masila (finance) and Albanus Musyoka (environment).
Addressing the press outside the county assembly, the MCAs accused the five officers of failing to deliver but were instead derailing the county’s development agenda through fishy deals.
“We allocated Sh80 million for school bursaries in the last financial year but up-to-date, these bursaries have never been distributed,” claimed Kasoa.
He took issue with the recent report by the commission on revenue allocation which showed the county’s revenue collection pegged at Sh400 million stating that this clearly demonstrated that the finance department was failing in its work.
“How can this county collect only Sh400 million in whole financial year?  This means that there is something wrong with the finance depart,” said Kasoa.
The MCAs warned that should the governor fail to sack the officers they will institute their removal through a motion in the assembly.
The push by the MCAs to have the officers sacked brings into focus a new dimension in the political intrigues that have marred the county for sometime now.
This given that the 18 MCAs have been part of the 40 of them that Mutua has enjoyed their overwhelming support since he parted ways with other 19 MCAs last year.
The new push by minority members is likely bound to tilt the political scenario in Machakos county politics and transform the entire political game for Mutua.
 Why have they chosen to spill the beans at this moment? Who is behind their new strategy?
Unconfirmed reports indicate that there is a plot to oust the minority leader for alleged failure to play his role.
However, others have argued that the new push is a scheme by the governor to find an excuse of sacking the officers but through the assembly.
Dominic Maitha (Muthwani) and his Ndalani counterpart Stephen Muthuka urged the county government to prioritise vital projects for the better.
Recently, Machakos Central MCA Cornelius Kitheka accused some of the county officials of blaming their failures on certain politicians instead of handling them.
“We don’t want to hear this game of the county government pointing fingers on certain politicians for its incompetence,” said Kitheka.
According to other sources, during last week’s meeting with Mutua in Mombasa, the MCAs attempted to blackmail Mutua to allocate them Sh930m which he refused and stuck to the recommended Sh480m ceiling. So far the MCAs have spent Sh720m which they have been told to refund. The same MCAs have globertrotted all over the world in trips that do not add value to the livelihoods of Machakos people taking advantage of a docile speaker Benard Mungata and assembly clerk Felix Mbiuki who was to be charged for loss of county council cash during transition.
Kasoa has been a staunch supporter of Mutua even absconding his role as a minority leader and so longsuffering residents are wondering about his sudden change of tune. Those in the know say that it all has to do drying coffers of the county where MCAs allied to Mutua used to draw huge chunks of money to protect him from impeachment.
During the Mombasa trip, twilight girls who had been entertaining the MCAs  looked frustrated and one was heard saying the era of councillors is back adding that these are no longer the waheshimiwas they knew. That the financial state of Machakos county is bad is illustrated by the fact that the MCAs and workers have not been paid.
But the question still remains, does it mean that Kasoa and his ilk were all along not seeing the ills the county has committed to its citizens?