County assembly rejects governor’s appointees

Workers and members of Siaya county assembly were Tuesday night locked up in the regional parliament as angry demonstrators blocked them from leaving for rejecting Governor Cornel Rasanga’s appointees to the cabinet.

It took the intervention of the anti riot police who fired into the air and lobbed several tear gas canisters to disperse rowdy youths who had spent the day around the assembly demanding that particular individuals be given a nod to serve in the county cabinet.

Chanting slogans and waving placards, the demonstrators threatened particular MCAs with dire consequences if they fail to oblige, leading to several MCAs to seek the speaker’s assurance that their security was guaranteed.

Things got worse when the assembly rose at the close of the business, shortly after 8.00pm when the demonstrators surged forward and blocked the entry points while pelting stones, forcing the police to charge.

Earlier, the assembly rejected all but one of appointees, saying they were all misplaced and had no requisite knowledge and experience for the dockets to which they had been appointed.

The session chaired by speaker George Okode said the governor also failed to meet constitutional requirements that demands that at least a third of the appointees be of the opposite gender and marginalized groups, youth and people living with disability were included.

Tabling the report of the committee on appointments that vetted the nominees, Usonga MCA, Sylvester Madialo said several of those interviewed failed to table some crucial documents to the panel.

Among those, he said, was a nominee to the tourism docket, Jaoko Oburu Odinga whom he said did not have a single academic certificate but told the panel that the documents got burnt in his house while living in Canada.

It however approved the appointment of Mary Omondi Olute to the education docket, saying she was the only one who qualified and had the requisite knowledge and experience in her field but recommended that her swearing in be postponed until the governor nominates fresh appointees for vetting.

The reason we are recommending this is because of the constitutional requirement of gender parity. We want her to be sworn in after we have vetted the fresh list to be forwarded by the governor to ensure that the one third gender rule is met, said Madialo.

Madialo said the house had a responsibility to the residents of Siaya to ensure the appointees met the requirements of the law adding that MCAs must not be influenced by external forces to pass a questionable list.

He said an appointee had called him on his cellphone, threatening dire consequences should his name fail to pass through the assembly.

Speaker George Okode, in his address, said it was the prerogative of the assembly to make its decision devoid of interference from the executive or any other political force.

He told members to adhere to the house rules and warned those who leak the contents of the reports that they will be dealt with.

Those whose names were rejected were Nicholas Kut (Agriculture), Joseph Ogutu (Finance), Elizabeth Odhiambo (Energy), George Rubik (water) and Adrian Ouma (physical planning)

Others are Dorothy Owino (Health), Dismas Odhiambo Wakla (public service) George Amenya(Public works) and Jaoko Oburu (tourism).

Source: Kenya News Agency