Coast governors in dilemma as key officers quit
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho must replace county secretary Francis Thoya, who will run for Parliament in Kilifi county. County bosses say vacancies hurt services
Coast governors are worried about their county officials’ plans to vie for election, leaving vacant posts.
Five Mombasa executives have declared their interest in running. The governors’ problem is to fill the slots and ensure services are not interrupted as well as not losing political support while replacing the executives.
Another dilemma lies in finding qualified personnel to work for the few months before the elections.
The executives who have declared their political interest are yet to resign. The Constitution states they should vacate office six months to the elections.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho must replace county secretary Francis Thoya, who will run for MP in Kilifi county.
Others are executives Hamisi Mwaguya (Trade and Energy), Tendai Lewa (Education) and Mohammed Abbas (Youths, Sports and Gender), who want to run for Mombasa senator.
Health’s Mohammed Abdi is seeking election in Mandera county, on a Jubilee Party ticket, further complicating his relations in ODM-led Mombasa county.
A county government source told the Star, “The county wants them to go early. There will be conflict, and they will not concentrate on services.”
On November 2, the Taita Taveta county government sent a memo to its staff, asking them to declare their political intentions publicly and leave.
“It has come to my attention from various sources that some state and public officers have plans to contest in the upcoming elections. I wish all such individuals the best in their endeavours,” reads a letter from Governor John Mruttu.
“I need, however, to emphasise that we are in government to serve the public and such ambitions should not conflict with the duty to serve.”
Mruttu said the staff should make formal declarations to his office not later than November 11.
“This is important so that I can take appropriate decisions to protect the public good on matters concerning services. This is a formal request I am making, and therefore it should be accorded the seriousness it deserves,” he said.
Elijah Mwandoe (Infrastructure) plans to run for the Senate seat in Taita Taveta county on a Wiper ticket. Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka recently endorsed him. The Star could not determine the official position from Peter Jumwa, the county secretary, who was away from his office.
In Kilifi, county secretary Owen Baya will be running for the Kilifi North parliamentary seat.
He has already started grassroots campaigns. Kilifi county assembly clerk Arnold Mkare is said to be running for the same seat.
Agriculture executive Mwalimu Menza and chief protocol officer Matthias Kazungu are also said to be eyeing political seats but haven’t gone public.
Teddy Mwambire, the Kilifi county assembly deputy speaker, confirmed that he would run for the Ganze parliamentary seat.
In Kwale, there are confirmed reports that an officer in the Governor’s Press Service intends to run for election. But county secretary Martin Mwaro said no official notification had been issued. “He has not implied he wants to leave, so I cannot authoritatively tell you the same,” he told the Star.
Several other officials from Lamu and Tana River counties are said to be gauging their support to run for election.
Mombasa Health executive Mohammed Abdi (C) and Governor Hassan Joho when they met medical specialists from health facilities across the county on Tuesday. Abdi is vying a Parliamentary seat in Mandera