Posts tagged as: munya

Peter Munya Makes U-Turn, Backs Kenyatta Re-Election

Party of National Unity leader Peter Munya has made a U-turn and backed President Kenyatta’s re-election barely a fortnight after declaring support for Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

The former Meru governor spent the better part of Tuesday morning at State House Nairobi where it is understood he was expected to reach a deal with Jubilee leaders.

STATEMENT

Mr Munya’s decision was informed by the resolution of his party to back Mr Kenyatta in the October 17 repeat presidential poll.

“After thorough consultations with party members, elders and supporters across the country, it has been agreed that in the very best interest of the country, we support the re-election of His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta in the forthcoming presidential election,” the letter signed by Munya, Secretary General John Okemwa and Treasurer Peter Nkubitu, said.

The once ruling party also urged all its members and supporters to campaign and vote for President Kenyatta.

RIGGING

The move marks Mr Munya’s short-lived dalliance with Nasa and Mr Odinga.

Mr Munya, who lost to Kiraitu Murungi in the August 8 poll, joined the opposition alliance on September 4.

During his reception at Capitol Hill, the Nasa headquarters in Nairobi, he said he would not support Jubilee, accusing President Kenyatta’s party of rigging him out.

“I confirm that today I have joined the Nasa family. My election was stolen and I cannot join those who stole my election,” Mr Munya said.

The former governor has been campaigning for Nasa in Tigania and Igembe over the past few days, amid pockets of resistance.

More follows.

Kenya

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277 Petitions Filed After August 8 General Election

By Sam Kiplagat

The election of 31 out of 47 governors has been challenged at the High Court.

Losers in the August 8 polls have challenged the process and results that saw the 31 declared winners, with the majority citing irregularities.

A RISE

At the closure of the petition-filing window on September 8, a total of 277 cases had been lodged challenging outcomes of six elective-seat races.

This represents an 88-case rise from the 188 petitions filed after the 2013 General Election.

The Judiciary has previously stated that judges and magistrates are ready to hear and conclude the cases within six months.

The judicial officers have already been trained to handle the petitions and conclude them within the set timelines.

PETITION

“Virtually all judicial officers of the rank of senior resident magistrate and above, including the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court judges, have been trained,” Chief Justice David Maraga said recently.

The upsurge of the cases could be as a result of the annulment of the presidential election by the Supreme Court.

Interesting to watch is a case filed by Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua who not only wants the election of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru quashed but also other elective-race victories in the county.

Governors facing court challenges include Mombasa’s Hassan Joho, whose election has been challenged by former Senator Hassan Omar, Laikipia’s Ndiritu Muriithi in a case lodged by a voter, Mr Sammy Ndung’u and Nairobi’s Mike Mbuvi Sonko, who has also been taken to court by a voter, Mr Japheth Moroko.

MUNYA

Former Meru Governor Peter Munya has challenged the election of Kiraitu Murungi. According to IEBC, Mr Murungi beat Mr Munya by garnering 280,793 against 231,420 votes.

Other governors whose wins have been challenged are Sospeter Ojaamong of Busia, Martin Wambora (Embu), Ali Korane (Garissa), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), Joseph ole Lenku (Kajiado), Amason Kingi (Kilifi), and Kisii’s James Ongwae, who has two election petitions.

The list also has Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o ( Kisumu), Issa Timamy (Lamu), Dr Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Ali Roba (Mandera), Ali Mohamed Mohammed (Marsabit) and Zacharia Okoth Obado of Migori.

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja, Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga and Turkana’s Josphat Nanok as well as Trans Nzoia’s Patrick Khaemba are facing similar cases.

92 MPS

For woman representatives, 11 of them will have to contend with court cases and they include Garissa’s Anab Gure, Kilifi’s Gertrude Mbeyu, Kisii’s Janet Ongera and Kisumu’s Rosa Buyu.

Some 92 MPs will also be battling court cases, with Kakamega county topping the list with 10 cases.

Nairobi has nine election petitions while Kisii and Kilifi have eight and seven, respectively.

A total of 129 MCAs across the country will also not be sitting pretty as their rivals seek to unseat them.

Munya, Ragwa Skip Swearing-in Ceremonies of Their Successors

By David Muchui and Alex Njeru

Former Meru Governor Peter Munya and his Tharaka-Nithi colleague Samuel Ragwa snubbed the swearing-in ceremonies of their successors last week.

Mr Munya has disputed the election of Mr Kiraitu Murungi.

His running mate Peter Kaberia said their plan to file a petition challenging Mr Murungi’s election is on course.

Mr Munya’s former deputy Raphael Muriungi handed over the instruments of power to Mr Murungi but said the former governor had not sent him.

In Tharaka-Nithi, Mr Ragwa and his deputy, Dr Mati Murithi, did not attend the inauguration of Governor Muthomi Njuki although they had been invited.

This left the county secretary, Dr Fredrick Kamundi, to hand over the instruments of power on their behalf.

Mr Ragwa and his deputy have neither publicly conceded nor disputed the election results.

Nation could not get them to comment as their phones were off.

On August 9, Mr Ragwa called Nation and promised to address journalists on some issues that he termed as election malpractices but he has never done so.

The decision by the former county leaders to shun the swearing in ceremony has elicited mixed reactions from the residents with some arguing that Mr Ragwa feared being embarrassed by the winning team while others say he could be planning to challenge the outcome in court.

During the ceremony, Tharaka-Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki and Mr Njuki accused Mr Ragwa of stealing public funds and called for his prosecution.

“We want the government to investigate and recover properties stolen by the former county leaders,” said Prof Kindiki.

Kenya

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Meru High Court Dismisses Case Seeking to Bar Munya From Poll

By Ken Bett

The High Court in Meru has dismissed a petition seeking to block Meru Governor Peter Munya from defending his seat.

In a ruling made on Thursday, High Court Judge Alfred Mabeya struck out the case saying the petitioner, Mr Isaiah Kithinji, did not exhaust all avenues set out by the State before filing the petition.

Justice Mabeya said that the businessman should have first filed a complaint before the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission before seeking court audience.

He noted that the EACC had already admitted they were probing the county government over various allegations.

“EACC should be allowed to carry [out] the investigation first before the petition is brought to court. The court will not undermine independent institutions, therefore the petition is struck out,” said Justice Mabeya in his ruling.

FREE TO CAMPAIGN

Speaking after the ruling, lawyer Bonbegi Gesicho who held brief for Mr Okong’o Omogeni said the county chief was free to campaign after the ruling.

He asked locals seeking to file similar petitions in future to follow the right procedures before rushing to courts.

The businessman had moved to court seeking to have the PNU leader stopped from defending his seat, citing financial impropriety in his administration for the last five years.

Through lawyer Kiogora Mugambi, Mr Kithinji sought to have Mr Munya barred from presenting his nomination papers.

But Governor Munya told the court that only EACC has powers to bar him from contesting in the August 8 polls.

He said the High Court sitting in Meru lacks jurisdiction to hear the matter.

Kenya

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Kenya: We’ll Pay Doctors for Strike Days Once We Get Cash – Governors

Photo: Laban Walloga/The Nation

Doctors at Coast general hospital in Mombasa assembly at the administration block in this picture taken on December 5, 2011 as they start their strike demanding for a better pay.

By Laban Wanambisi

Nairobi — County Governments now say they are willing to pay doctors for the days they were on strike, once the National Government makes the funds available.

Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya told a news conference that counties do not have extra funds to settle the dues after they used money at the time mitigate needs during the strike period.

“We have no objection whatsoever on the doctors getting their salaries and we are ready to pay them any time the National Government releases this money. But we want to make it extremely clear that counties do not have any extra money to pay for that period they were on strike, because that money was used to cushion patients, to buy medicine for mission hospitals and deal with emergencies that emerged at that time,” Munya stated.

Kenyan doctors were elated by the news that President Uhuru Kenyatta had directed the counties to pay them for the 100 days they were on strike, only for Munya to reject such an arrangement.

The Council of Governors has in the meantime, warned stated that it will be moving to the court to quash the Appropriations Act 2017 after President Kenyatta signed it into law.

Munya said the move meant that counties will be plunged into financial crisis since the earliest they can make their budgets is after the August General Election.

“Assenting to the Appropriation Bill will interfere with legislative timelines and processes as the Senate cannot debate on the County Allocation of Revenue Bill while the Division of Revenue Bill has not yet fully gone through the motions of mediation. The Council opposes the Appropriation Act and will take relevant legal measures to ensure successful mediation for the Division of Revenue Bill,” Munya stated.

The county bosses said they are dismayed that the President assented to the Appropriation Bill while mediation on the Division of Revenue Bill is still ongoing.

“His actions undermine the mediation process which will settle on the allocation of revenue to both levels of government. The Division of Revenue Bill informs the County Allocation of Revenue Act, which distributes the equitable share amongst the forty-seven (47) County Governments. Therefore, the signing of the Appropriation Bill is premature since the allocations for both levels of government are yet to be agreed on,” he said.

Senators resolved to move to court after President Kenyatta ignored their plea not to assent to budget implementing legislation that was passed last Thursday by the National Assembly.

Kenya

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We’ll Pay Doctors for Strike Days Once We Get Cash – Governors

Photo: Laban Walloga/The Nation

Doctors at Coast general hospital in Mombasa assembly at the administration block in this picture taken on December 5, 2011 as they start their strike demanding for a better pay.

By Laban Wanambisi

Nairobi — County Governments now say they are willing to pay doctors for the days they were on strike, once the National Government makes the funds available.

Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya told a news conference that counties do not have extra funds to settle the dues after they used money at the time mitigate needs during the strike period.

“We have no objection whatsoever on the doctors getting their salaries and we are ready to pay them any time the National Government releases this money. But we want to make it extremely clear that counties do not have any extra money to pay for that period they were on strike, because that money was used to cushion patients, to buy medicine for mission hospitals and deal with emergencies that emerged at that time,” Munya stated.

Kenyan doctors were elated by the news that President Uhuru Kenyatta had directed the counties to pay them for the 100 days they were on strike, only for Munya to reject such an arrangement.

The Council of Governors has in the meantime, warned stated that it will be moving to the court to quash the Appropriations Act 2017 after President Kenyatta signed it into law.

Munya said the move meant that counties will be plunged into financial crisis since the earliest they can make their budgets is after the August General Election.

“Assenting to the Appropriation Bill will interfere with legislative timelines and processes as the Senate cannot debate on the County Allocation of Revenue Bill while the Division of Revenue Bill has not yet fully gone through the motions of mediation. The Council opposes the Appropriation Act and will take relevant legal measures to ensure successful mediation for the Division of Revenue Bill,” Munya stated.

The county bosses said they are dismayed that the President assented to the Appropriation Bill while mediation on the Division of Revenue Bill is still ongoing.

“His actions undermine the mediation process which will settle on the allocation of revenue to both levels of government. The Division of Revenue Bill informs the County Allocation of Revenue Act, which distributes the equitable share amongst the forty-seven (47) County Governments. Therefore, the signing of the Appropriation Bill is premature since the allocations for both levels of government are yet to be agreed on,” he said.

Senators resolved to move to court after President Kenyatta ignored their plea not to assent to budget implementing legislation that was passed last Thursday by the National Assembly.

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Finance System Failure Delays County Staff Salaries

Photo: Suleiman Mbatiah/The Nation

Council of Governors chairman Peter Munya addresses journalists on the sidelines of the 4th Devolution Conference in Naivasha on March 9, 2017.

By Dave Opiyo

County government workers who have not received their March salaries will have to wait longer following the breakdown of the Integrated Financial Management System (Ifmis).

On Monday, the Council of Governors said the system, used in processing financial transactions, had not worked since April 3, thereby disrupting operations across the 47 devolved units.

This, they said in a statement, had in turn affected payments for crucial services including workers’ salaries as well as leading to a halt in development projects.

IFMIS A PLOY

Governors described the breakdown as a “subtle attempt at slowing down county governments expenditure” as the General Election draws near.

“Delivery of services to Kenyans cannot and should not be pegged on elections or any event for that matter,” their statement read.

It added: “The promise was that through Ifmis, county governments shall have enhanced efficiency in planning, budgeting, procurement, expenditure management and reporting thus ensuring prudent disbursement and utilisation of resources.

“County Governments, when presented with the system, were assured that it was fool proof, which is not the case.”

Launched in 2013, Ifmis has received opposition from the county bosses, who have termed it a ploy by the national government to control disbursement and use of funds in their regions.

LOSS OF FUNDS

Its collapse was last year blamed for grounding development projects and operations in counties, with governors saying they were unable to access funds from their accounts at Central Bank of Kenya to finance operations.

The council’s chairman Peter Munya and Finance Committee chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said some counties were consequently forced to take overdrafts from banks and use locally collected revenue to run their offices.

According to a recent inquiry report by the Auditor-General, the system had been marred by technological loopholes, making it prone to abuse and possible loss of public funds.

The audit revealed that unidentified users were capable of logging into the system remotely while others had multiple identities.

SECURITY MEASURES

The audit report, released in November, revealed negligence on basic system security procedures and lack of data safeguards that made the system easy to manipulate by fraudsters.

“Good practice requires that passwords must be reset at least every 90 days. At the time of the audit, the configuration in Ifmis relating to password expiration indicated the expiry period is set to ‘none’, which means the passwords never expire. This is a potential loophole that can be exploited,” the report stated.

The audit pointed out that those behind the system, which relied heavily on the overall network infrastructure of the government, failed to study and establish the network specifications required to meet Ifmis standard operations before its launch hence the frequent failures.

Kenya: KenGen Suspends Sh6.9b Wind Power Project in Meru Over Land Row

By Agnes Aboo

Power generating firm KenGen has suspended the construction of a 400-megawatt wind-power plant in Meru County until land rows rocking the project are resolved.

The first phase of the Meru Wind Farm Project, which is expected to cost Sh6.9 billion, was scheduled to be completed in December 2017.

The project will sit on an 18,700-acre piece of land in Tigania East Sub-County.

According to KenGen’s managing director Albert Mugo, the construction has been delayed due to land disputes.

“As you see in the papers, we await land adjudication so that we can deal with the bona-fide land owners,” Mr Mugo said through a text message.

Sh6m for demarcation

To speed up the demarcation of the disputed land, a budget of Sh6 million was approved by the national government.

The process was expected to be completed within two months to allow the firm to construct the plant this year. However, this has faced a big blow after Meru Governor Peter Munya put an injunction to stop the process.

“Those purporting to be committee members have not been gazetted. Whatever they are doing in the land is illegal. If we allow them to continue with the illegal process, the poor will be deprived of their land,” he said.

The governor said he will only allow the process to go on once an all-inclusive land committee is constituted.

Mr Munya said the bona-fide land owners should be given a two week notice before meeting to choose a committee that will oversee the subdivision of land.

Conflict of interest

The area has been in a conflict of interest from many stakeholders since the power company identified it for the mega project.

The area, which is located few metres from the Isiolo International Airport, is also seen as an avenue for the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project.

According to the District Lands and Adjudication Settlements Officer (DILASO) Kephers Obingo, the demarcation process will be done before the KenGen wind power station is set up.

“We need cooperation from all those involved to ensure the exercise runs smoothly. Genuine land owners will get documents immediately after the demarcation,” Mr Obingo.

The wind mill project will occupy the sections of Ngaremara and Gambela locations.

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Governors Seek Recognition As State Officers As They Travel Abroad

By Angela Oketch

Governors are seeking to be treated as state officers following a change in policy denying them special visas to the United States when not travelling on national government business.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had directed that only county officials travelling for official duties on behalf of the national government qualify for special visas.

The new policy demands that county officials travelling to the US exclusively for county government business do not qualify for the special visa, whether travelling on diplomatic passports or not.

But the governors have said the move is discriminatory and unconstitutional, adding that county governments are institutions on their own with many employees with them as the bosses.

DIPLOMATIC NOTES

Council of Governors Chairman, Peter Munya, Governor Jack Ranguma (Kisumu), Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) and Cyprian Awiti, have challenged Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Monica Juma to ensure they are given diplomatic notes required to facilitate visa processing whenever they need them.

“The governors as county bosses have several functions to attend and not only the national ones.

“Do we need to seek permission from the ministry when attending such functions? We are constitutional office holders,” said Mr Munya.

He said it is the high time the ministry starts looking at them as county bosses.

“We don’t just travel for fun. As county bosses we look for funds and other development-oriented organisations to develop the counties,” he said.

MOVE TO COURT

He said failure they will move to court to challenge the government’s decision.

“We are yet to see whether the ministry will deny any governor travelling to any foreign country the assistance they require when travelling for official county functions,” he said.

Earlier, through a letter to Foreign Affairs and Devolution principal secretaries signed by Mr Munya, and copied to US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec, the CoG threatened to sue the ministry over the directive.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had in February given a directive that county government officials will no longer enjoy special visas to the United States unless they are on national government business.

All county officials must, therefore, follow the normal visa application procedures, including physical appearance at the embassy for interviews, fingerprints and payment of visa fee, the ministry said.

Kenya

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Uhuru, Governors Agree Devolution a Success, Cite Improved Healthcare

By Nation Team

The national and county governments were in agreement on Tuesday that devolution was a success and has transformed the country.

Even as they spoke, the two sets of government acknowledged that their relationship has not been rosy in the four years of devolution implementation.

The council of governors said the environment for implementation of devolution has not been amiable.

“We have had disagreements with the national government over funding for county functions, poor or absence of consultation on matters that affect county governments and little technical support for the implementation of functions,” said CoG Chairman Mr Peter Munya.

Even as President Uhuru Kenyatta said the government will have had spent Sh1 trillion on counties by the next budget, the council of governors indicated that counties have suffered insufficient allocations and delayed disbursements by The National Treasury, which Mr Munya said, has nearly paralysed finalization of development projects.

“Moreover, there are functions that remain unfunded yet they have already been transferred to the counties,” he stated.

AGREEMENT

Both governments, however, agreed to work together and to consult constantly to ensure the system introduced in Kenya four years ago takes root, with the president stating that critical oversight functions of The Treasury, Senate, Controller of Budget and the Auditor General had ensured the systems and individuals were accountable and transparent.

“Some have been left unhappy by their recent findings of impropriety and financial mismanagement. In fact, these findings reflect the fact that the systems which track the systems of money are in good working order,” the president said. “That is how we keep leaders honest and accountable,” he added.

President Kenyatta described devolution as one of the key priorities of his administration while devolution cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri promised the national government’s support to resolutions to be arrived at the fourth annual devolution conference taking place in Naivasha.

SUCCESS STORY

“Four years ago, the Kenyan people handed me the privilege to implement this fundamental change. I am pleased to see that the institutions we set up to support the aspirations of Kenyans stand firm. Devolution is here to stay,” the president said in his keynote address to the conference taking place at the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute.

The president and Council of Governors chairman Peter Munya singled out health as one of the success stories for devolution, citing the reduction of child and maternal deaths.

“Maternal deaths and infant mortality rates have fallen quickly, proof that the joint free maternity proramme between the national and county governments works,” the president said. “The medical equipment scheme on which nearly every county has played a part has given Kenyans access to life saving screenings for cancer and other diseases,” he said.

Mr Munya on the other hand described devolution as the ‘real deal.’ “Counties are proof that devolution is the real power,” he said.

He said counties had prioritised primary health care, community facilities and also focused on eliminating infant mortality leading to a drop of up to 39 per cent in infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

“In 2012, there were 8,466 health centres and dispensaries. We have increased this to 10,032 and invested heavily in equipping delivery wards with incubators.” he said. “These investments have paid off.”

Tuesday’s session included plenary discussions on economic and agricultural transformation and sustainable energy development steered by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Vihiga’s Moses Akaranga and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, respectively.

The conference was attended by ambassadors who included Mr Robert Godec of US, his British counterpart Nic Hailey and European Union’s Ambassador to Kenya Stefano Dejak who is the chairman of the donors’ community.

In the roads sector, the council of governors said county governments had surmounted financial and legislative huddles between 2013 and 2016 which saw 379 kilometres tarmacked, 35,934 kilometres murammed, 19, 148 kilometres of new roads and 9,572 kilometres of rehabilitated roads.

“These successes have been attained amidst stiff opposition and deliberate underfunding by the national government, Mr Munya said, citing the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 Financial Years where no funds have been allocated to counties to support additional 31,113 kilometres of roads.

By Caroline Wafula, Njeri Rugene and Dave Opiyo

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