Oliver Musembi and Clement Kamau @PeopleDailyKe
Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu has told off his critics, saying he is accountable only to the electorate and not fellow leaders.
Speaking in Thika when he launched the county’s Sustainable Development Goals programme, he refuted claims that he was running county affairs single-handedly and accused his critics of trying to micro-manage him.
Waititu has recently come under heavy criticism from various Kiambu leaders including his deputy James Nyoro, Women’s Rep Gathoni Wa Muchomba, Senator Kimani Wamatangi and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria over his leadership style and war on alcohol and drug abuse, among other issues.
He has been accused of failing to involve other leaders in unprocedural merging of the county’s eight water companies and illegally spending money on rehabilitation of alcoholic youths.
“I will not pay attention to the noise from fellow leaders. I will only listen to the wananchi who are our employers. I am committed to bringing change because I was elected on a platform of changing Kiambu,” he said.
He said the merger of water companies would ensure efficiency in management, saying previously the entities were managed like private property.
On claims that his administration has declined to renew a land lease for Del Monte fruit processing company, Waititu dismissed the reports as propaganda and explained that the county had met the firm’s management and agreed to have the 8,000-acre land surveyed afresh with a view to isolating the idle land.
“We formed a joint survey team with the management and they have established that there is nearly 1,000 acres that the company does not use. It is this land which we have told them to release to the county for expansion of Thika town,” he said.
Last week, Nyoro accused his boss of sidelining him in running the affairs of the county and making decisions without consulting the county executives.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Wa Muchomba who questioned the sustainability of Waititu’s rehabilitation of drunkards model of paying them a Sh400 daily stipend.
Sources has it that a senior national government official yesterday summoned the Kiambu county leaders to try and reconcile them owing to the fact that their war of words has since infuriated President Uhuru Kenyatta who hails from the area. This as Gathoni reported threats to her life to the police alleging that Waititu was out to harm her.
THE war of words between the governor and his deputy became personal and dirtier with the former saying that he highly doubted the latter’s academic qualifications.
Waititu further accused his deputy of trying to be his equal and doing all he could to force himself into his office.
Waititu dismissed James Nyoro’s claims that he has been sidelined in his government, saying the governors and deputies have their roles in county governments. He asked Nyoro to learn the roles of a deputy governor and serve the residents without complaining
Waititu rubbished Nyoro’s claims he made on Sunday at Sigona Golf Club that he doesn’t have an office and a car and that he had been sideline in vital executive decision making.
“Each one of us has an office which we campaigned for. They were handed over to us by the former William Kabogo regime” he said.
“You cannot start pushing yourself in the office which I already occupy. Go to the office which you campaigned for and sit in the seat you will find there and serve the people in that capacity” he said.
Waititu claimed Nyoro has a hidden agenda, accusing him as among those who aligning themselves to challenge him in 2022 general election in the gubernatorial post. The governor also revealed he questions his deputy’s academic qualifications.
“People have been lying but I will tell the truth. Let them show their doctorate degrees if they have studied that far” he alleged. He said when he took over, there were two offices for each one of them.
“We have offices in Kiambu and in Thika. For the deputy governor, his office in Kiambu is undergoing rehabilitation at a cost of Sh 2.5million” he said questioning why he was not using the one in Thika town.
The county boss accused his deputy of missing in cabinet meetings without an apparent reason. Waititu said his deputy had turned into a political tourist flying from country to country.
He spoke in Limuru recently accompanied by MCA’s Joseph Kahenya (Limuru Central) and Gideon Gachara (Ndeiya). Kahenya urged residents to avoid being carried away by political wars and support the governor.
“Politics will have to be there, but do not be carried away by them, support the our governor and you will realise his government’s developments projects” the Limuru Central MCA said.
However, Nyoro blew the whistle on Sunday, alleging even some of the county executives are serving under pressure.