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Nyeri Governor Wamathai vows to fight graft

Former Nyeri deputy governor Samuel Wamathai on Monday vowed to fight corruption as he was sworn in to succeed the late Nderitu Gachagua.

The former diplomat pledged at the ceremony at the county headquarters in Nyeri town to execute programmes initiated by Gachagua, who died in a London hospital on Friday. He said projects will continue uninterrupted and asked county workers to approach work with a “sense of urgency”.

“I demand total honesty and integrity from everyone working in the county,” said Mr Wamathai. “I will not tolerate acts of corruption and dishonesty.”

In his inaugural speech, Governor Wamathai expressed his commitment to service. He asked members of the county assembly to pass a pending supplementary budget.

The swearing-in, presided over by Resident Judge Jarius Ngaah, however heightens anxiety on the composition of a new county Cabinet. The new governor did not say whether he will maintain the current county executives or make new appointments.

FORMER MINISTERS PRESENT

The former ministers were, however, present and assisted in coordinating the day’s programme. Interestingly, they arrived in county vehicles despite the law stating that they ceased to hold office after the governor seat fell vacant.

Political rivalry played out at the ceremony, however, as members of Parliament from the county kept off, save for Tetu’s Ndung’u Gethenji.

With majority of MCAs in attendance, Council of Governors chairman Peter Munya of Meru faulted those who voted to impeach Gachagua last September, while he was sick.

But County Speaker David Mugo said the MCAs’ differences with Mr Gachagua were not personal and they will support Mr Wamathai.

Senator Mutahi Kagwe defended himself against accusations that he had failed in his oversight role.

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