9 November 2017

Kenya: Wahome Gakuru Death - Nyeri Cabinet Loses Jobs After a Week

Photo: Daily Nation
Late Nyeri Governor Wahome Gakuru.

Nyeri county executives lost their jobs barely a week after they were sworn in following the death of Governor Wahome Gakuru.

The county executives took oath of office on October 30 but ceased to hold office on November 7.


Article 179 of the Constitution stipulates that if a vacancy arises in the office of the county governor, the members of the county executive committee appointed under clause (2)(b) cease to hold office.

County Secretary Benjamin Gachichio and nine county executives have, however, been included a county committee tasked with making burial arrangements for their boss.

In fact, former government spokesperson Muthui Kariuki, who had been appointed to head the Infrastructure and Communication docket, is responsible for relaying information to the media.

The incoming governor Mutahi Kahiga, who is the deputy, has an option of retaining the county executives or making new appointments.

Nyeri Speaker John Kaguchia said if the governor decides to form a fresh Cabinet, the new names will have to be tabled in the assembly for approval.


"If decides to retain the executives, then we will only have hold another swearing-in ceremony. But if opts for an entirely fresh team then the nominees will have to be vetted and approved by the assembly," he said.

He indicated that details on the succession would be communicated once they have accorded Dr Gakuru, a former director of Vision 2030, a befitting send-off.

"It is not necessary to get in to the details of the transition to allow Kenyans to grieve and come to terms with the loss of the governor. When we laid our governor to rest then we get into details," he said noting that the assembly will support the new governor.

But Mr Kahiga has pointed to retaining the executives appointed by Dr Gakuru since they had picked the names together.

"I will work with these people to deliver Dr Gakuru vison for the people of Nyeri," he said an interview.


Dr Gakuru told the county executives to start delivering on their mandates immediately and warned them against engaging in corruption.

"We promised to deliver economic growth anchored on transparent and accountability. The public expectation in all areas is heightened as such I call upon you to begin work immediately," he said.

Attorney-General Githu Muigai, in a precedent-setting move after the death of Nyeri's first governor Nderitu Gachagua, argued that an officer who had served in the previous administration is deemed to have been vetted and enjoyed the confidence of the county administration.

"In these circumstances, the question of vetting of suitability of such a member retained does not arise and the mere fact of retention is a strong presumption of continued confidence by the new county administration," a letter addressed to Assembly Speaker David Mugo had said.

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