Civil Societies accuse Assembly of colluding with Executive to approve CECs
Even before the Baringo County Speaker could sign the approval of County Executive Committee Members appointed by the governor, civil societies groups are up in arms condemning the motion.
They are accusing the County Assembly of being compromised to approve the list of nominees appointed by governor Stanley Kiptis, saying some members were not qualified to manage affairs of the people of Baringo.
Speaking outside the Assembly after the motion to approve the nominees was amended and passed, the group, led by Isaiah Biwott of Baringo County Human Rights Watch, has now vowed to form peoples’ assemblies in the grassroots to check the Executive.
“From today’s proceedings, it is evident that Baringo MCAs are mere rubber stamps of the Executive and cannot pursue their mandate of playing the oversight role,” said Biwott.
He accused the assembly of approving the list despite recommendation of the House Committee on Appointments that one of the nominees was not suitable to hold the position.
“Most of the nominees did not have papers and most could not answer simple questions. They are not qualified,” added Biwott.
They praised the nominated MCA, Fransica Cheburet for standing her ground and objecting the list saying the county needed more leaders of her calibre.
He said the same house could not absolve itself from the corruption allegations doing rounds in town after leaflets were circulated the previous week alleging corruption, sexual harassment and high handedness by senior staff of the house.
Biwott also warned the leaders from attacking journalists saying they were doing their work in unearthing the rot of the county leadership.
“It is improper for the leaders to accuse people who cannot stand in the house to defend themselves,” he said.
Earlier on, while debating the motion, Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) said all the nominees had satisfied the constitutional requirement enshrined in Chapter Six of the Constitution.
The report tabled by Majority Leader, Lawi Kipchumba had approved nine nominees and rejected the nomination of CEC for Environment Natural Resource Tourism and Wildlife Management, Ms. Scola Kimeli whom they said lacked requisite knowledge and experience on issues relating to the docket.
The committee on appointment had argued that Ms. Kimeli was not composed when answering specific and sectoral questions as she appeared tense and under pressure which translated to poor articulation of words during her vetting.
During the session, the house was sharply divided when debating the report with some supporting it while others wanted it to be amended to accommodate the only rejected nominee.
Mochongoi MCA Kimosop Kipruto argued that the vetting committee did not put forward strong accusations to warrant the nominee for Tourism and Wildlife to be disqualified from holding the position.
Kipruto claimed that Ms. Kimeli from the marginalized Endorois Community living around Lake Bogoria underwent a lot of trauma under the panelists and harsh media which resulted to her dismal performance during the vetting time.
However, nominated MCA, Fransisca Cheburet who was the only one to oppose the nomination of Ms. Kimeli argued that issues of marginalization and gender should not be taken as an excuse to accommodate an unsuitable nominee to head a critical docket which required a competent and knowledgeable person.
She further stated the nominee had little knowledge on matters relating to the docket since she had specialized in finance.
Solomon Makal, who moved the motion seeking an amendment on the vetting report to include the Tourism appointee as the 10th suitable nominee was seconded by Emining Ward MCA, Kibarar Kipsang.
Makal wanted the word “not suitable” to be replaced with the word “suitable”. When the Speaker put the question, all members agreed to have the amendment made.
Makal argued that Ms. Kimeli was the most learned candidate allegedly having attained a First Class Honors degree and accused the vetting committee of falsely accusing her of being unable to articulate herself.
Other nominees are Dr Richard Rotich (Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries), Philemon Rono (Transport, Public Works and Infrastructure), Thomas Ole Nongonop (Education, Sports and Culture), Dr. Maurine Rotich (Devolution, Public Service and ICT), Clement Lomaringoria (Industrialization, Commerce, Enterprise and Corporative Development), Elijah Kipkoros (Lands, Housing and Urban Development), Mary Panga (Health Services) and David Chesire for Finance and Economic Planning.
By Christopher Kiprop