13 September 2017

Kenya: Governors' Headache Over County Appointments

The battle for the county executive positions has intensified as newly-elected governors in the North Rift struggle to distribute the posts amid lobbying from various interested groups.

The focus has shifted to the 10 positions after the county assembly Speaker posts were filled last week.

Most governors are under pressure following intense lobbying by various players, who want to be considered for the positions.

In Uasin Gishu, the Eldoret Residents Association (ERA) want Governor Jackson Mandago to make his cabinet an all-inclusive one.

DIVERSITY

Addressing journalists in Eldoret town, the association chairman Richard Kemboi asked the county boss to ensure the CECs represent the diversity of the county.

The governor was accused in 2013 of filling the positions with the members from the dominant Kalenjin community.

"We hope that the governor will not renege on his pre-election promise by making all key appointments a preserve of only communities that voted for him in the concluded August polls," said Mr Kemboi.

He said it would be wise for Mr Mandago to ensure the face of Kenya is reflected in his government so as not embarrass Deputy President William Ruto, who hails from the region.

"There is a lot of anxiety and fear among some county staff over the fate of their jobs for taking political stand during the concluded August election. We hope the governor will not fire them as they were exercising their democratic right," added Kemboi

LOBBYING

In Baringo, the lobbying for the positions has gone a notch higher with minority communities demanding that Governor Stanley Kiptis considers them when he constitutes his new cabinet and other key positions in the county.

"God knows why he put all of us in this county. We fear our issues will not be adequately addressed because we are few," said Mr Amos Olempaka from Ilchamus community.

Mr Olempaka who is also a human rights activist told the Nation that one said the community should be given more slots in the county executive for regional balance.

In Elgeyo-Marakwet, the governor has contracted services of a state firm in the hiring of chief executives even as lobbying for the plum jobs intensified.

Governor Alex Tolgos is expected to name and present his nominees for the key positions to the County Assembly for approval this week.

AGENDA

The governor's principal advisor Kipkoech Karamai told Nation on Wednesday that Kenya School of Government has been contracted to do the interviews for county executives and chief officers.

The governor has indicated that he is re-organising his government and would be looking for the best individuals, who can help him deliver his development agenda.

Those who are likely to make to the governor's list could include those who were promised job rewards for their significant contributions during the campaigns, notably those who shelved their ambitions to support him.

In Trans Nzoia, Governor Patrick Khaemba of Ford-Kenya promised to form an all-inclusive government that will include those supporting Jubilee Party and other parties.

Reporting by Dennis Lubanga, Flora Koech, Philemon Suter and Gerald Bwisa.

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