Why New County Secretary, Chief Officers, are Key to Wangamati’s Flagship Projects

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After more than a year without a County Secretary and the Chief-Officers, residents of Bungoma County should brace for serious development after a seemingly determined Governor Wycliffe Wangamati presided over the swearing in of the new County Secretary and the Chief Officers.

According to the County Government Structures, each devolved units must have a head of the County who is the Governor, his Deputy, County Executive Committee Members (CECM) or ministers and their chief officers (permanent secretaries).

However, Governor Wangamati has been running the County without the Chief officers in the ten ministries, a factor that has apparently undermined most of his development progress.

On Thursday, Mr Joseph Wakoli Wambati was sworn in as the County Secretary and Head of Public Service in his government.

Eleven Chief Officers have also been sworn in. They include Denson Wanjala Barasa (Office of the DG), Maurice Wabwile Marango (Roads, Infrastructure and Works) and Carolyne Nekesa Maset (Youth and Sports). 

Mr Maurice Wabwile Marango (Centre) signs official documents after taking an oath of office as the new Chief Officer in the Ministry of Roads, Infrastructure and Public Works in Bungoma County. PHOTO/COURTESY

Isaac Juma Aruput was sworn in as the Chief Officer( Livestock and Fisheries), Moses Sichei (Environment and Tourism), Patrick Wandili (Health) and Mrs Rose Nafula Situma (Education and Vocational Training).

Others are Patrick Wandili (Health and Sanitation), Phoebe Buchunju (ICT and Record Management), John Wekesa (Agriculture and Irrigation) and Chrispinus Nyongesa- Office of the County Secretary.

The new appointees, whose vetting had been halted due to long-lasting court petitions from various lobby groups will now ensure that the Governor’s flagship projects run smoothly in order to achieve the Governor’s campaign manifesto.

Though Governor Wangamati has been facing the wrath of his electorates for what they term “doing little” since taking over from the current Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, it has been legally challenging for the governor to implement his key projects due to the absence of chief officers in all his ministries.

Under the Public Finance Act and the Procurement and Disposal Acts, the C.Os are the official accounting officers in their respective ministries and responsible for all the procurement processes including signing of cheques.

With CECMs alone in their offices, it becomes challenging for any Governor to fund projects.

Now that the new C.Os are in office, it will be easy for the Governor to construct the multi-million dual carriage high way from Kanduyi to Musikoma, the milk processing plant in Webuye and the upgrading of Kanduyi Stadium.

Above: a graphic design of the Kanduyi Stadium. IMAGE/Governor’s Press Service

Other projects the Governor is keen to initiate include the construction of the Matulo Airstrip, the Industrial Park, full installation of street lights across the county, opening up of access roads in the entire county,  purchase of more hospital equipments and empowerment of youths and women through boosting various economic activities. 

However, the Governor seemed to avoid being carried away with the new appointees as he remained cautious on any corruption attempts.

“Always remember that you are the chief accounting officers in your respective areas and you must operate within the law,” he told the new appointees after the brief ceremony.

“You have the primary responsibility to protect the resources of the people of Bungoma.”

Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamti during the swearing in of new Chief Officers at the County HQ on Thursday. PHOTO/COURTESY

However, the residents of Bungoma County are still keen on seeing development, something that must really be giving the County CEO sleepless nights.

With only four years to end his first term in office, will he deliver?

Keep your comments coming in the comments section below this article.




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Simiyu Wakajuaness

Simiyu Wakajuaness is the founder of this news site, a scriptwriter, actor and stage director with ardent passion in media and public relations in this digital world. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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