Former Lamu governor Issa Timamy blames county’s poor service delivery
The former Lamu Governor, Issa Timamy has expressed concern over the devolved government’s recent rating as the fourth most corrupt county in the country according to the Auditor General’s report.
Speaking to KNA on Thursday in an exclusive interview, the immediate former governor warned that the county’s fall from grace during his tenure as being the least corrupt to now being among the top five most unethical could be due to poor service delivery.
“The current county executive regime is not interested in offering essential services to Lamu residents especially in areas such as education, and health care,” Timamy said adding that essential services delivery had taken a back seat in favour of what he termed as “tenderpreneurship”.
“Street lighting is falling apart, ambulances are not working and even health care provision in areas that have always been up to standard such as Mpeketoni sub county hospital and Faza district hospital are falling with reports emerging that medicine is not available,” he observed.
He said that the current administration is only interested in having its cake when it comes to allocating tenders to one another, which he said has led to many essential services falling short of the county executive’s attention.
The first governor was also critical of his successor’s track record as a good leader and administrator, stating that morale among county workers was at an all time low because everyone is afraid to lose their jobs.
“So far there are more than 300 county workers, in specialized areas such as health care that are out of work, but have been promised that their contracts will be renewed,” the former governor said, adding that the out-of-contact situation is being used as a political tool to ensure that only those youths that are loyal to the current administration regardless of qualification are employed.
Timamy termed the current adminstration’s approach towards leadership as “laissez faire” adding that currently, even issues such as road construction in areas such as Faza has been politicized.
“Why is the current administration not tough enough on the national government to lift the mangrove cutting ban, which has led to the destruction of livelihoods in areas such as Ndau Island, Kizingitini as well as Amu Island,” he said.
He also took issue with the county government’s backseat approach towards the fishermen’s compensation issue which he said has the double edged potential uplifting the lives of the fishermen or putting the county in an audit hole especially with the high number of fishermen to be compensated at 4,736 being too high and suspicious a figure.
“It appears that there are some well placed individuals within the county government who want to dip their hands in the fishermen’s compensation windfall, and fishermen should resist all efforts to have them short changed,” he added.
He also said the method used in administering bursaries was also not transparent with the county government issuing blanket cheques to schools rather than to specific individual students to ensure everyone in need of the funding receives it.
However, Governor Fahim Twaha has maintained that the process of issuing bursaries was done transparently.
He called on his political detractors to desist from criticizing the county government without facts saying that he has the mandate to serve Lamu fairly and ensure that resources are distributed equitably.
He dismissed claims that the report listing Lamu as one of the top five most corrupt counties as falsehoods being peddled by his political rivals.
A Mombasa Court of Appeal ruling is expected later today with regard to the hotly contested gubernatorial elections of August 2017 last year between Fahim Twaha and his predecessor Issa Timamy.
By Amenya Ochieng