GIDEON KIMATHI: MAN IN A FRUS­TRAT­ING PO­SI­TION

“The County Ser­vice Board de­cides on weighty mat­ters that con­cern mem­bers and staff. But as deputies we find our­selves in a quag­mire; that you have to learn the de­ci­sion made yet you are not part of it. You don’t want to dis­own it.”

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - Joe Bi­den Amer­i­can Vice Pres­i­dent

Fight­ing cor­rup­tion is not just good gov­er­nance. It’s self­de­fense. It’s patriotism.

Gideon Kimathi faults the law that has de­nied the Deputy Speak­ers of the County As­sem­blies the op­por­tu­nity of sit­ting on the Ser­vice Boards.

Kimathi, the Deputy Speaker of Meru’s Assembly, feels it is a ma­jor over­sight for them to be ex­cluded yet they have to abide by the de­ci­sions made by the board.

“The board de­cides on weighty mat­ters that con­cern mem­bers and staff,” he says.

“But as deputies we find our­selves in a quag­mire; that you have to learn the de­ci­sion made yet you are not part of it. You don’t want to dis­own it so as not to be seen to be fight­ing mem­bers’ in­ter­est.”

Kimathi pro­poses there is need to change the county gov­ern­ments law to in­clude Deputy Speak­ers on the Board.

The Univer­sity of Nairobi trained po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist says be­ing a Deputy Speaker is no easy task, es­pe­cially in assembly with 13 dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

There is tremen­dous work­load but the del­i­cate bal­anc­ing act to as­suage the feel­ings of all the par­ties is what makes the dif­fer­ence.

How­ever, his big­gest re­gret is the dys­func­tional na­ture of the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem in Meru County. In par­tic­u­lar the fall out be­tween Gov­er­nor Peter Munya and Sen­a­tor Ki­raitu Mu­rungi has proved par­tic­u­larly po­lar­is­ing.

His anger is di­rected to­wards Munya, a man he ac­cuses of lone ranger an­tics that trig­gered the fall­out.

Be­sides, he ques­tions Munya real in­ten­tion ar­gu­ing that his re­bel­lion against the na­tional govern­ment is un­help­ful and could un­der­mine de­vel­op­ment in the county.

“In the 2013 cam­paign we tried to bring all the lead­ers to­gether but re­gret­tably, we can’t work as a team be­cause the gov­er­nor wants to work alone.”

Yet, the Deputy Speaker ad­mits the rift be­tween the two friends turned foes has not in­ter­fered with the op­er­a­tions of the county assembly.

This, Kimathi says, has pro­vided the MCAs and lo­cal politi­cians with an op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­act and chart the fu­ture of the county without fight­ing each other.

Early this year, the assembly ap­proved a mo­tion that re­quires the county govern­ment to in­te­grate.

The mo­tion man­dates the county to put in place pro­gramme sim­i­lar to that of the Na­tional Youth Ser­vice.

The assembly has also ap­proved a mo­tion that seeks the county to es­tab­lish a ba­nana value-ad­di­tion plant in Meru.

“The mo­tion was unan­i­mously passed in or­der to stop the con­spir­acy of the buy­ers who ex­ploit the farm­ers,” he says.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.