The rift between Tharaka-Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki and his Deputy Nyamu Kagwima has continued to widen, with the later announcing that he will not support his boss for re-election in 2022.
Speaking in Nkondi Ward Saturday during the burial of former assistant chief, M'Rukungi M'Maingi, Mr Kagwima said that accepting to deputise Mr Njuki was a bad decision and that he cannot repeat the blunder in 2022.
He accused his boss of sacking employees without following the law and threatened to take him to court if he does not reinstate Mr Diego Ngugi, a public health chief officer who was dismissed last month.
"My friendship with Njuki ended long time ago because of his bad governance and I will not be his running mate in 2022, neither will I support his re-election bid," said Mr Kagwima.
But he said that he will not resign because he was also elected alongside Governor Njuki and that there are many voters who trusted the two because of him.
The two leaders started differing immediately after the 2017 elections, with Mr Kagwima accusing his boss of not considering residents from his Tharaka backyard for job opportunities.
Mr Kagwima, who seemed to demand an equal share of employment slots, started accusing his boss of only rewarding his supporters and giving him nothing to appreciate those from his side.
When time came for preparing their first budget, the two leaders differed sharply over the distribution of resources, with Mr Kagwima accusing the governor of favouring his home constituency of Chuka/Igambang'ombe, side-lining Tharaka and Maara constituencies, claims that the county boss dismissed as political witch-hunt.
The matter proceeded to court but petitioners, allegedly sponsored by Mr Kagwima, withdrew the case after members of the county assembly allied to Mr Njuki threatened to impeach the deputy governor.
The relationship continued to sour and last month, Mr Kagwima called a press conference and accused his boss of looting public funds and having a dictatorial leadership, allegations that the governor denied and challenged him to report him to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission if he had any evidence.
Mr Njuki also denied arbitrary sacking county employees who seem to side with his deputy.
On his side, the governor accused Mr Kagwima of using the accusations to intimidate him so that he can get a car loan, house allowance and other benefits while there is no legislation by the county assembly to allow the release of such money.
The entire county leadership is a divided lot, which has been blamed for lack of development.
Governor Njuki and Senator Kithure Kindiki have been clashing in a public functions and efforts by the Ameru Njuri Ncheke Council of Elders to unite them have not been successful.
Recently, the two publicly differed during the closure of Tharaka Uragate Annual Cultural Festival over who should speaker last.
But during Mashujaa Day celebrations, Mr Njuki announced that there are reconciliation plans and that soon, they will start reading from the same script for the sake of unity of the county and development.