A side by side image of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and his Deputy Governor James Nyoro. PHOTOS| COURTESY
Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro has announced that he is in charge of operations at the county after the court on Tuesday barred Governor Ferdinand Waititu from accessing office over graft charges.
The deputy governor, who has been at loggerheads with the Governor, said he had taken over the running of county activities and would remain in power until the court rules otherwise in the case against Waititu.
“We are in office for as long as the governor is away. If there is going to be an appeal or a ruling on his case… We will be ready to vacate the seat and leave it to the governor if the court so dictates,” said Dr. Nyoro.
He was speaking at the county government offices, where he also held a private meeting with county executive committee members, immediately after the court locked Waititu from office.
The deputy governor was keen to point out that he was not taking power forcefully, even as Members of County Assembly announced plans to begin an impeachment process to kick out Waititu.
“So we are here to ensure that the county operations continue. So this is not a Coup d’état , as people may want to believe. Therefore we are asking for those who may have felt aggrieved or probably their loyalty was elsewhere, to come and join us so that we all work together for the benefit of this county,” said Nyoro.
He added: “All county activities will go on as usual but going forward we will also be looking into what we can change. But I want to assure the public that there is no power vacuum.”
The deputy governor said one of his focus areas as he takes over the running of Kiambu County would be to seal loopholes for loss of revenue.
“We would want to stop the loss of revenue particularly a time like now during the transition. We have all agreed with the CECs and COs that nobody will do anything that will jeorpadise the efficiency or accountability of their positions,” said Nyoro.
At the same time, Kiambu County MCAs on Tuesday also announced they will be working on a motion to impeach Governor Waititu.
“Things like appointing or sacking CECs cannot be done by a deputy governor. So we need to have a deputy governor who will be executing all functions of a governor… And the best way is for Waititu to just resign or we impeach him within the next 30 days,” said Biashara Ward MCA Elija Njoroge.
Governor Waititu was on Tuesday released on a cash bail of Ksh.15 million and Ksh.30 million bond after denying graft charges over a Ksh.588 million irregular tender.
He is charged alongside his wife Susan Wangare and eight other suspects among them county government officials.
In the bail ruling, Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi directed that Governor Waititu and all accused county officials be barred from accessing the Kiambu County offices until the case is heard and determined.