Trouble is brewing in Nyamira County after Deputy Governor Amos Nyaribo accused his boss, Governor John Nyagarama of violating their pre-election Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
In a letter dated August 14, 2018, Nyaribo complained over lack of consultation by Nyagarama in the making of major decisions that affected the county’s leadership, key among them being the reinstatement of County Secretary Eric Onchana who had been sacked by the deputy governor.
Nyaribo complains in the letter that Nyagarama had refused to pick his phone calls and never wanted to recognise his position not only as a deputy but his equal in county governance as per the pre-election power-sharing agreement.
Before running in the August 2017 polls as deputy governor and governor respectively, Nyaribo and Nyagarama had entered into a mutual agreement to run the county Government with equal powers, according to a memorandum of understanding (MOU).
In the letter seen by the press, Nyaribo said the MoU contains clear guidelines regarding appointments, sharing of opportunities and roles in major decisions of county governance.
According to the document which was signed by the two, any major decisions and undertakings in key appointments must be consultative.
Nyaribo had been acting in the Governor’s position from May until mid-July this year when Nyagarama returned from the US where he had gone to seek medical attention.
In his absence, Nyaribo made major changes including the suspension of payroll officers and 24 other employees who were allegedly irregularly hired.
In the Governor’s absence, the County Secretary, Eric Onchana was also suspended.
He moved to the Industrial and Labour Relations Court in Kisumu where he sought stay orders.
Ever since he returned from the US, Governor Nyagarama has never met with Mr Nyaribo officially, even though the two’s offices are housed on the same floor of the County headquarters.
Two weeks ago, Nyagarama reinstated Onchana, a move Nyaribo has cited as humiliation.
The new turn is a repeat of what characterised the two in their first term in office.
The two ran on parallels to the end of their first term when Nyaribo opted to run as a gubernatorial candidate in the last General Elections.
But they later entered into a coalition agreement, their political affiliations notwithstanding.
Nyaribo was in Amani National Congress whereas Nyagarama was in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party.
Nyaribo who responded through a phone interview confirmed writing the letter and that he was disgruntled especially by the reinstatement of Onchana whose post was to be filled through consultations, according to the MoU.
“The Governor forgot that there is a MoU binding us together in that Government and we are obliged to toe the line provided for in the shared responsibilities of governance,” Nyaribo said.
He also affirmed that he was contemplating taking legal action if Nyagarama will not rescind the appointment of Onchana.
Nyagarama on his part said he had not received any communication from Nyaribo and that he had no comment over the issue.
“I cannot say anything about the letter for now because I have not received it,” Nyagarama said.
However, Nyaribo, in the letter had informed Mr Nyagarama that he would be forced to invoke provisions of the MoU they signed and seek the intervention of a team of counsels from the International Council of Jurists who will handle the matter.