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Governor Mung’aro sacks Kilifi County Public Service Board

Kilifi County Governor Gideon Mungaro

Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung’aro has sacked the entire Kilifi County Public Service Board a day after they were impeached by members of the Kilifi County Assembly.

The MCAs had unanimously sent members of the Kilifi County Public Service Board packing over allegations of gross misconduct, violation of the constitution and incompetence.

All the 46 Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) present approved a report of the Departmental Committee on Devolution, Public Service and Disaster Management, that had recommended the ouster of the board members. The assembly has 51 members.

Those who were sent home included Chairperson Rose Ngowa, vice chairman Alphonce Mrima and members Patience Mukambe Mwangiri and Raymond Mramba Mweni.

“Having received a report from the departmental committee on devolution, public service and disaster management of the Kilifi County Assembly on removal of members of the County Public Service Board and with powers vested in me I have sacked the Kilifi Public Service Board. I assure residents of Kilifi that the move will not affect service delivery” said Mung’aro.

The move follows a petition by a senior officer in the County Department of Environment, Zena Mohamed, who accused the board of discriminating against her during the recruitment of the County Director of Environment.

Mohamed had complained that the board went ahead with the recruitment exercise in disregard of a court order permanently injuncting it and recruited Jimmy Kahindi Yaa, whose earlier appointment to the position had been negated by the Employment and Labour Court.

Two of the board members, who participated in the recruitment exercise were not affected as they left the board when Governor Gideon Mung’aro appointed them to the offices of County Executive Committee Member and Chief Officer respectively.

Committee Chairman Samson Zia Kahindi said the committee had found the board guilty of all counts, which included, among others, failure to submit annual reports to the County Assembly as required by the County Governments Act 2012 and the presence of ghost workers in the county government’s payroll.

He told journalists at the assembly buildings that Governor Gideon Mung’aro would have to nominate new members of the board, who will also have to be vetted by the assembly before the governor formally appoints them to office.

“We found this board guilty of many violations including gross misconduct, violation of the constitution and incompetence, that is why we have resolved unanimously to send its members home,” Zia, who is also the MCA for Adu Ward, said.

He also accused the board of overseeing the recruitment of ghost workers, who he claimed were drawing salaries without doing any work.

Nominated MCA Mariam Mkumbi said the board erred in continuing with a recruitment process that had been declared illegal by the Employment and Labour Court, although she did not say whether the process would be started afresh.

She dismissed the excuse that the board failed to submit its annual reports to the county assembly due to budgetary constraints, saying that if that was the case, the board should have written to the assembly through the Budget and Appropriation Committee for intervention.

When the board appeared before the committee during the hearing of the petition, Mrs. Ngowa told the committee that the board had failed to submit its annual reports due to budgetary cuts and frustration from the then County Secretary.

Ngowa also protested that only four of the board members were being targeted when the decision was made by six board members, two of whom were still serving in the county government as County Executive Committee Member and Chief Officer.

The board’s lawyer, Njoroge Mwangi, said the board did not break any law when it repeated the recruitment process after the court outlawed the first exercise.

This became the second board to be disbanded under the watch of Governor Gideon Mung’aro, who on May 10 this year sent the entire Malindi Municipality Board packing following complaints of poor garbage disposal in the tourist resort metropolis.