Tana River, KENYA: Hola residents in Tana River County on Monday took to the streets to protest a plan by county assembly members to impeach governor (rtd) Major Dhadho Godhana.
Demonstrating outside the county offices, the residents said to have been angered by their MCAs decision towards their governor arguing that Mr. Godhana had assisted students from needy families through the push-up program which the assembly members say was illegally introduced.
“At first the members wanted themselves to be custodians of the fund to disburse it to the students but the governor was afraid because in the past such a move led to many students missing the bursary fund,” said Mr Abdhalla Salim one of the residents who was protesting.
His utterances were supported by Ms. Fatuma Mohamed who requested the MCAs not to interfere with the work of the governor saying they should concentrate on their duties.
The demonstration comes a day after the county assembly members jointly held a meeting in Malindi criticizing the governor over his alleged wrongdoings since he took office.
The whole house of twenty-three members had come up with a joint speech read by Kinakomba ward representative Mr. Sammy Abio Malibe who also chairs the Assembly budget committee.
In their speech, the MCAs complained over the manner the governor introduced the push-up programme which was allegedly meant to help school going children from poor backgrounds.
According to them, the Push Up Program had not passed through the required law parameters adding that the governor disbursed funds to unknown individuals in the county.
“The governor through an article published in Daily Nation on Friday 18th January 2019 faulted the members of the county assembly for failing to properly manage the bursary funds. He also claimed that his administration had gone out of its way to increase the bursary kit from shillings 5 million to 10 million, we the members of the assembly we would first and foremost like to state that these statements are inaccurate and a misrepresentation of facts to the public. The true position is that the government delayed releasing funds in full until towards the end of the financial year then the office of the governor goes ahead to give out the money to unknown individuals and without a proper legal framework in the name of push up program.”Kinakomba ward representative Mr. Sammy Abio Malibe said.
‘Further the governor should know that he has no legal mandate to allocate an extra five million shillings as he alleged as section 3 and 2 (b) of the ward bursary fund administration act of 2014 clearly states that an amount of not less 2.5 percent of the sharable revenue received by the county government from the national treasury shall be paid into the fund the governor introduced a push up program without prior legal framework this amount to misappropriation of public funds and hence abuse of office,” Hon Malibe added.
Responding to the allegations, the governor refuted the claims saying it was just their propaganda with no basis.
Speaking at his Nairobi office at Delta Towers on Monday, the governor said if the members would be ready for their graft allegations they should report the matter to the anti-corruption agency for probe.
Mr. Godhana affirmed to the press that what he did was congruent to the law insisting that those who were questioning his move they should stop him by taking actions against him.
“If somebody know about what had happened let them write to the EACC and say there is this type of corruption happening even what they are saying that I have been sacking people irregularly, no there people who were employed irregularly.
And what the public service board did was to try and look at each department to identify which is formal and which is not formal. How could somebody be compensated while doing a crime?” said the governor.
At the same time, the county legislators claimed that the governor had regularly sacked staff members without any reasons with many other allegations.
On the other hand, the governor told the press that his move was due to irregular recruiting of the workers which he named it to be contrary to legal requirements.
According to him, the plot by the assembly members might have been pushed by a local politician who wants to tarnish his image.
“We have been aware even the reasons of what happened, it is because of some politicians here in Nairobi who have money and who had planned to use the members to hit Godhana. We know them by their names and even where the money went, so the members had arranged to sing that song and even the statement had been prepared by somebody for them. governor Godhana said.