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Mutua, Roba lead the pack as swearing-in of governors starts

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and Mandera’s Ali Roba will be the first to be sworn into office on Thursday for their second term.

The swearing-in ceremonies for the governors have started in earnest after the Ministry of Devolution released a schedule of the events.

All the 47 counties had by Tuesday confirmed the dates and venues of swearing-in ceremonies and submitted the same to the ministry for gazettement.

Mr Mutua’s ceremony will take place at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos Town while Mr Roba will be inaugurated in Mandera Town. 

The duo will be followed tomorrow by Onesmus Njuki (Tharaka Nithi), Martin Wambora (Embu), Mwangi Wa Iria (Murang’a), Joseph ole Lenku (Kajiado), Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu) and Paul Chepkwony (Kericho).

Kiambu’s Governor-elect  Ferdinand Waititu will be sworn in on Saturday at Ndumberi grounds.

KWALE BARAZA PARK

Kwale’s Salim Mvurya will be sworn into office on August 21 at Kwale Baraza Park on the same day as Kilifi’s Amason Kingi, who will take his oath at Karisa Maitha Gardens. 

Mombasa’s  Hassan Joho will be sworn in on August 22 at Mama Ngina Drive.

County secretaries of the 47 devolved units have started placing adverts in the newspapers asking the public to attend the events, which the law requires to be conducted in public.

This comes at a time when two governors-elect have disagreed  with the committees overseeing their assumption to office over the huge budgets set aside for the ceremony.

Nairobi’s Mike Sonko has rejected the Sh25 million set aside for his inauguration  and directed the funds to be used to pay county’s employees salary arrears.

Mr Sonko made the decision after meeting members of the Kenya County Governments Workers Union to avert a possible strike that employees had called for over non-payment of their salaries. 

“We had a fruitful discussion with the union and it was agreed that workers must be paid before I assume office,” he said.

CHARITY NGILU

Kitui Governor-elect Charity Ngilu also told the committee to redirect the Sh6 million budget towards provision of water to needy residents.

“All we need on that day is a Bible and a venue and it certainly does not cost Sh6 million. It makes no sense to use that amount of money on a one-day event while thousands of people are suffering due to water scarcity. Let us be sensitive to the poor in all our actions,” she told the committee.

County officials have been struggling to cobble up budgets and prepare fields ahead of the inauguration of governors this week. In Embu, the county government intends to spend Sh3.5 million for Mr Wambora’s swearing at Embu Stadium on Friday.

County Secretary Wilson Ireri said they were expecting several dignitaries to grace the occasion.

EFFECTIVE CEREMONY

In Laikipia, governor-elect Ndiritu Muriithi has directed the committee to organise a simple and cost effective ceremony.

“I want a simple, cost-effective ceremony. Be guided accordingly,” he wrote to the committee members as they held a preparation meeting at Nanyuki County Government offices.

The inauguration ceremony will be held on Monday at Nanyuki stadium.

In Mandera, County Secretary Okash Abdullahi said plans to have Mr Roba sworn in today are complete. Without revealing how much the event will cost, the county secretary said the expenditure had been considered in the 2017/2018 budget.

Reported by Ibrahim Oruko, Manase Otsialo, Mwangi Ndirangu and Charles Wanyoro

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