Vetting county executives not necessary – Githu Muigai says

MCAs had hoped that the CECs would be subjected to fresh vetting to eliminate those they labelled as stubborn and arrogant.

Executives appointed by the late Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua will not be vetted afresh despite demands by MCAs.

But the ministers who will now work under newly sworn in Governor Samuel Wamathai will have to take a fresh oath, according to Attorney General Githu Muigai.

Mr Muigai, in the precedent-setting move, argued that an officer who had served in the previous administration is deemed to have been vetted and enjoyed the confidence of the county administration.

“In these circumstances, the question of vetting of suitability of such a member retained does not arise and the mere fact of retention is a strong presumption of continued confidence by the new county administration,” a letter addressed to Assembly Speaker David Mugo said.

The executive committee (CEC) members ceased to hold office on February 24 following the death of Mr Gachagua.

Mr Gachagua succumbed to pancreatic cancer while on treatment in a London hospital.

READ: Governor Gachagua dies in London – VIDEO

READ: Wamathai sworn in as Nyeri governor

This prompted the Speaker to write to the government legal adviser regarding transition.

The advisory however contradicts that of Council of Governors’ lawyer Peter Wanyama who said the ministers must be vetted afresh.

Mr Wanyama, the Council’s legal compliance specialist, argued that Mr Wamathai is heading a new administration thus allowing the officials to continue with their duties without being vetted would be illegal.

“Failure to table their names at the assembly for vetting would translate to appointments through the backdoor, which turn out to be extremely problematic,” he said in an earlier interview.

On Tuesday, MCA Stephen Mwaniki (Dedan Kimathi ward) criticized the ministers’ performance.

“Some natural calamities are unfortunate but they come with some hope. We will vet the former CECs against their performance because their work can be measured since they took office,” Mr Mwaniki said.

The AG also ruled out Governor Wamathai appointing a deputy, saying he has no powers for only the electoral body can designate one after elections. 

This means that the county boss will stay without a deputy and in case he is unable to execute his duties, the Speaker of the County Assembly will assume office and elections will be held within 60 days as stipulated in Article 182 of the Constitution.

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