Politics

Muungano accuses Lenku of misappropriating funds: Aide hits back

Speaking on Wednesday at the governor’s turf, the leaders said lack of development initiatives, and stalled projects point to a wanton misuse of funds, and therefore call upon the EACC and DCI to carry out investigation

By Fred Ntele and Jennifer Simaloi

A section of Kajiado political leaders, apparently poking holes on Governor Joseph ole Lenku’s administration, have alleged that there is “wanton misuse of public resources” in the County, and are inviting the relevant government agencies to move with speed to initiate investigation.

Two gubernatorial hopefuls; Former NTSA director-general Francis Meja and Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko, while speaking at the governor’s home turf — his Oloolakir home village of Kajiado South — said despite the county having been allocated a whooping Ksh9 billion annually, there is nothing to show for the money.

Meja said: “I have walked the length and breadth of the vast county, and what I witnessed is disgustingly appalling. In fact, when I was coming here, I thought being the governor’s home area, I would find mega [county funded] projects, but I am shocked beyond words.”

He termed as shame, a county boss living in absolute opulence, while the residents continue to languish in abject poverty.

“It is absolutely unacceptable to spend Ksh284 million on recurrent budget — staff emolument and operating cost — when the people are without the most basic needs.”

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He also questioned the rationale for doubling the county’s recurrent budget from Ksh140 million by the previous regime, to the current Ksh284 million.

He further rebuffed claims that he has been calling for staff laying-off, ostensibly as an austerity measure to address concerns of the county’s alleged blotted wage bill, arguing that, “the county government can reduce its recurrent budget by cutting its operating costs, without necessarily sacking staff,” said Meja, who also boast of 16 years’ experience working in the bank.

On her part, the vocal Kajiado East parliamentarian said, “We are tired of [Lenku’s] poor leadership”, which she said has been characterised by, “wanton misuse of resources, stalled projects initiated by the previous regime, and runaway disunity in the county.”

There is something not working in Kajiado County, she said, “it is not possible that we [in the National Assembly] keep passing a budget of Sh9 billion to this county every year, yet we can’t show anything for the allocation… We are therefore inviting the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to do investigations.”

However in a rejoinder, Lenku’s personal assistant Daniel Kanchorry dismissed the allegations as “mere bickering of busybodies,” and singled out Meja, as someone “we will never respond to: We graciously leave him to redeem his name over his contact during his stint at the NTSA.”

He said the governor has a clear scorecard that will be analysed at the end of his first term, and is currently busy implementing his manifesto, therefore he is not available to respond to every bickering by a few leaders obsessed with own selfish ambitions.

He defended the governor, saying that he has not neglected any stalled project initiated by his predecessor — Dr David Nkedianye.

“As a matter of fact, and unlike most governors today, Ole Lenku has taken most of his legacy time and resources reviving stalled projects, because he understands the value for the tax-payer’s money.”

He cited the Ngong Stadium, Kajiado library, “many” water boreholes in various parts of the county, and the ECDE teachers who were (in the past regime) employed on a temporary basis, but are now on permanent and pensionable basis.

Also taking a swipe on Kajiado East MP, the former Oloorsikuon Ward rep, said the lawmaker has resorted to early politicking while her Constituency is wanting in development.

As a result, he said, the governor has had to undertake some projects that otherwise fall under her jurisdiction, allegedly in respond to the plight of the residents who were “suffering” under her watch.

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