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.”
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.