Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has brokered a deal between Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi and Members of the County Assembly, who have been threatening to impeach him.
At a day-long meeting held at the Deputy President’s Official Residence in Karen on Monday in which, among other issues, the boss of the devolved unity committed to establish a Ksh 600 million Ward Development Fund.
In an eight-hour meeting also attended by MPs from Kiambu County hosted by Mr Gachagua at the Karen Official Residence, Nairobi on Monday, Governor Wamatangi said he has no problem allowing the MCAs to implement development projects.
The Deputy President listened to the 86 MCAs, the Members of the National Assembly drawn from the county, the Senator and the governor separately before convening a joint meeting in which the outcomes were announced.
“I have no problem in establishing the County Ward Development Fund in Kiambu County. We shall enact it immediately, with the House (County Assembly). We will give the MCAS the latitude to select priority projects. This will be Ksh 10 million per ward, totaling to Ksh 600million out of the Ksh 2.8 billion development budget,” Mr Wamatangi said.
He added: “I will also give MCAs latitude to choose projects of priority within their wards. From the kitty each of the 60 electoral Wards will get Ksh10 million from the development budget”.
Establishment and management of Ward Development Fund was one of the issues the MCAs raised when they held a meeting with the Deputy President.
The MCAs had also alleged that they were being sidelined in allocation of bursaries.
The Deputy President intervened into the leadership stalemate after the MCAs last week threatened to impeach Governor Wamatangi over various accusations.
“We are committed to the development of Kiambu County. President William Ruto asked me to have a sitting with you to find out what is ailing Kiambu for a solution,” said the Deputy President.
He asked the leaders not to personalise leadership and find a way of working together since serving the people requires complimentarily.
“It does not look good for our backyard when leaders are fighting and we are saying that we are uniting the country. It does not look good when we are asking those who did not vote for us to join us and we are fighting. We campaigned together as one cohesive team. I don’t know what has happened in one year that there are squabbles and exchange of words between leaders. We are together by desire to work for the people. The people who voted for you are the same ones that voted for us,” he continued.
The Deputy President observed that since the advent of the devolved system of governance in 2013, Kiambu County has not really benefited because of leadership squabbles between the successive governors and MCAs.
To resolve the stalemate, the Deputy President said the national government will work with both the governor and the MCAs on various projects such as construction of modern trading markets.
“Listening to you all, the issues are solvable. We are not in great danger. I am in charge of intergovernmental relations. The President (President William Ruto) and I are against impeachments; they are not tidy; they are not necessary. We cannot allow Kiambu County to go wrong as we watch,” the Deputy President said.
On bursaries, the MCAs will now have a say on beneficiaries, the Governor said.
“Our bursaries will be disseminated at the Ward level. The MCAs will identify the beneficiaries and allocation will be done by the MCAs and the bursary committees. The MCAs will arrange on the date of issuance and invite the governor,” Mr Wamatangi said.
There were structural and administrative issues which were also raised by the MCAs.
It was resolved that a three-day meeting between the MCAs and the Governor be held from November 23, 2023 to thrash out those outstanding issues. Report will be submitted to the Deputy President after the convening.
Separate meetings will be held between the Governor and the National Government on implementation of joint projects, especially in construction of markets and Affordable Housing.