Key sectoral operations at Kitui County will soon ground to a halt following the shooting down of the supplementary budget tabled on the floor of the county assembly in December2018.
Among the sectors feeling the heat include the Ministry of Health which has indefinitely halted the registration exercise for Kitui County Health Insurance Cover (K-CHIC), sending home all registration clerks, without paying them salaries accrued since October.
In a circular dated 28th December 2018, the Ministry of Health informed the registration clerks posted at all Level IV hospitals that their 4-month contracts, which were to expire on 31st December 2018, would not be renewed as expected.
The circular further directed the clerks to submit all registration materials to the K-CHIC supervisor latest by the 4th of January 2019, seven days from the date the circular was issued.
A section of the clerks confided that a senior ministry of health official told them the county government no longer had the funds to continue paying them for the registration exercise, since the County Assembly had shot down the Supplementary budget in December.
This comes as a contradiction to the governor’s assurance during the launch of K-CHIC on 21st August 2018, where she stated that the county government had set aside Sh2.93 billion in the main budget for the programme.
The programme, aimed at actualizing one of President Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda on the Universal Health Care, initially targeted over 270,000 households in the county, a figure the registration exercise has not come close to actualizing.
The insurance is intended to cover ambulance services, referrals, mortuary services for up to 7 days, inpatient bills for up to 24 hours after discharge and all curative, promotive, preventive, rehabilitative and other specialized medical services in all county public health facilities.
County Treasury Executive Mary Nguli faces the axe after a vote of no confidence passed by a majority vote by the County Assembly late 2018.
However, Nguli sought court orders stopping the County Assembly from proceeding with any process aimed at impeaching her.
In a bid to settle political scores, the county executive averred in court papers that the members of County Assembly moved to irregularly and un-procedurally impeach her in blatant abuse of the Constitution, County Government Act and their own standing orders.
To safeguard her rights, the county executive through her legal team led by Peter Wanyama and Maina Ngaruiya filed a constitutional petition to espouse her predicament in the hands of individuals who are propelled by no more than political witch-hunt and malice.
The County Assembly Speaker George Ndotto called for the formation of the ad-hoc select committee of five to investigate the issues raised against Nguli and report tabled in the house within ten days.
The impeachment of Nguli was executed just a few days after the Wiper Party MCAs shot down a supplementary budget from the Executive meant to uplift the lives of the ordinary residents.
Leading the onslaught, Tseikuru MCA Boniface Kasina Kilaa said that she flouted procurement rules and failure to implement the budget saying that a similar motion was tabled in 2015 in Kiambu County where she served in the same capacity.
Nguli failed to pay pending bills in time and promoted incompetence in the management of county affairs, adding that her tenure has been characterized by failure to pay the county workers, said Kilaa.
He said that for the county to move forward in realizing its developmental goals, the Finance Executive has to face the axe and in her place appoint an experienced person with capability to honour house resolutions and implement the budget.
Majority Leader and Athi Ward MCA Peter Kilonzo and Chief Whip Stephen Kivunzi (Kyuso MCA) said that the impeachment had no ulterior motives, adding that it was done based on facts as tabled on the floor of the house for debate.
However, an insider in Narc Kenya that floored Wiper during the 2017 Kitui County gubernatorial contest read malice, sabotage and blackmail in shooting down the supplementary budget appropriations saying that there is a wide scheme to discredit the Governor’s administration.
Wiper party controls the majority of the 54 ward representatives in the county assembly, a tool that the members are using to the disadvantage of Ngilu’s wing.
The Governor has appealed to Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka to tame the MCAs to toe her line in efforts geared towards fulfilling her pre-election pledges to the electorate.
However, majority leader Peter Kilonzo defended Wiper Leader saying MCAs were not taking instructions from him on how to conduct the assembly business.
Source: Kenya News Agency