16 February 2013

Kenya: Candidates Reject TA's Interim County Bosses

The move by the Transitional Authority to hire interim staff to work in counties has generated confusion among governor candidates. Although a section of candidates have welcomed the move, majority have dismissed it as recipe for chaos.

Addressing a workshop for governor candidates at a Naivasha hotel, the candidates said they may sack the recruits once they take office.On Thursday, the authority's board approved the hiring of about 30 officers per county to run the new offices before governors take over.

Nakuru county governor candidate Kinuthia Mbugua said he learned of the move during a two-day retreat."Though the interim committee is good, the team should have interacted with candidates so as to foster harmony and trust," he said.

His sentiments were echoed by Bungoma county candidate Ken Lusaka who predicted conflicts if the matter is not fully addressed."We do not understand the role of the newly recruited officers and if the matter is not handled well, it could generate public discontent," he said.

Former Konoin MP Julius Kones who is seeking the Bomet County governor on a Kenya National Congress ticket said the move is ill-timed.

He warned that voters may end up kicking out the newly recruited officers because of lack of consultations.

"The appointments are controversial as there were no consultations. The process should have been carried out after the general election," he said.

But Johnstone Nchoe (Narok), Waithaka Mwangi (Nyandarua), and Nderitu Gachagua said the new officers will help lay foundation and ease the work of the new governors.

"The work of the new governors will be to lay the foundation stone and we are ready for the task amid high expectations," said Wavinya Ndeti from Machakos County.

The transitional authority defended the move, with the chairman, Kinuthia Wamwangi, saying there had been wide consultations before the exercise was carried out.

He said the officers were hired on interim basis and it is the up to the governors to hire them on permanent basis or re-advertise for the positions.

"The officers were meant to lay foundation stones. They are highly qualified and they will be posted to their new stations after a one week training workshop," he said.

He said governors do not have power to hire staff as the prerogative falls under the County Public Service Board."Some governors have promised supporters employment opportunities if elected and they should be warned that this is illegal," he said.

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