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Governors promise to complete unfinished projects

Nine more governors on Friday assumed office in ceremonies marked by fanfare and grand promises.

Among those who took the oath of office were Mr Fahim Twaha of Lamu, Mr John Nyagarama (Nyamira), Mr Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Mr Martin Wambora (Embu) and Mr Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a).

Others were Prof Paul Chepkwony (Kericho), Mr Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), Mr Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka-Nithi) and Mr Joseph ole Lenku (Kajiado).

SECURITY
Mr Twaha, a former Lamu West MP, who has been in the political cold since 2013, promised to prioritise security in the terror-prone county.

Mr Twaha (Jubilee Party), who floored former Governor Issa Timamy of the Amani National Congress, took the oath of office at Mkunguni Square in Lamu Town.

The event was presided over by Justice Jackline Kamau.

Mr Twaha also pledged to unite the residents of the county.

“I am happy that I am standing here today as your governor. I am aware that some did not vote for me but I promise to serve you all. My services are not a favour but a duty to you,” Mr Twaha said.

SECOND TERM
He extended a hand of friendship to losers in the recently concluded polls and invited them to work with him.

In Nyamira, Mr Nyagarama also extended an olive branch to his political rivals and promised to make improvements in various areas such as health, agriculture, roads and water supply.

He was sworn in by Justice Philip Tuiyot and principal magistrate Eunice Nyutu.

In Kericho, Prof Chepkwony took the oath of office for the second term, promising an industrial boom.

POVERTY

The county boss, who was sworn into office together with his deputy Susan Kikwai at a colourful ceremony, said during their first term they had laid the groundwork for a major industrial takeoff and poverty reduction through job creation and economic growth.

He said at the top of his agenda is the proposed Sh100 million expansion of the Kerenga Airstrip to accommodate cargo planes, thereby enable the exportation of produce.

Prof Chepkwony said a coffee processing factory will be opened in Sigowet/Soin and another for pineapples in Bureti.

In Homa Bay, Mr Awiti promised to replace his entire Cabinet.

CHANGE
Mr Awiti said he intends to make the changes following complaints from residents concerning the officials.

He also promised to complete all the unfinished development projects within the next three months.

The deputy county boss, Mr Hamilton Orata, also took the oath office.

Among those who attended the function were Senator Moses Kajwang’ and all the six elected MPs in the devolved unit.

The county bosses were sworn in even as the Council of Governors insisted that the Devolution ministry had no business managing the transition in counties.

CONFLICT
Council of Governors chairman Josphat Nanok said Devolution Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri was wrong when he issued statements on Tuesday over the procedures through which governors would be sworn into office.

“County governments, as envisaged in the Constitution, are fully fledged.

“They are not local authorities to be supervised by a national government ministry,” Mr Nanok said.

“It is, therefore, erroneous for the Cabinet Secretary to tell the public that it is necessary for the ministry to guide counties on the assumption of office.”

READ: Transition: Nanok, Kiunjuri lock horns

RESPONSIBILITY
He said committees set up in each county for the assumption of office by new and re-elected governors are the right institutions to handle the handover.

“The assumption of office of the governor is the responsibility of these committees.

“The ministry is only a member of the committee and, therefore, has no business in supervising county governments or dictating the programme of the swearing-in of the governors,” Mr Nanok said.

He described Mr Kiunjuri’s actions and statements as constituting a blatant encroachment on the sovereign power of the people.

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