Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati has termed the County Assembly’s ICT Committee summons as illegal, vowing not to honour them.
In a letter sent to the County Assembly’s Public Administration and ICT Committee on Monday 3rd May, 2021, Governor Wangamati, faulted the author of the summon, saying it was the section 19 (2) of the County Assemblies Powers and Privileges Act (CAPPA).
This follows a letter dated 27th April, 2020 where Assembly Speaker Emmanuel Situma wrote to the Governor asking him to appear before the ICT Committee led by the Khalaba Ward MCA Majimbo Okumu.
The letter had accused the County Chief of ‘inciting the public’ against the MCA in a local radio interview, something that didn’t ogre well with the legislators.
However, in his response, Governor Wangamati, through the County Government Secretary Mr. Joseph Wakoli Wambati, accused the author of the letter for failing to follow due process.
“Our attention is drawn to the provision of Section 18 (2) of the County Assemblies Powers and Privileges Act, 2017 which provides that; a summon issued under subsection (1) shall be issued by the Clerk on direction of; a) Speaker and, b) The Chairperson of the committee acting with a resolution of the committee, read part of the statement.
The Governor also mocked the summons for not attaching the Committee resolutions to the letter as required by the law.
Also, the protest letter faults the summons for failing to involve the public as required.
“Further, Article 196 of the Constitution requires that County Assemblies conduct its business in an open and holds its sittings and those of its committees in public. No details have been provided as to the date and place of the public meetings by the PA-ICT Committee against which the summons of the 27th April 2021 have been extracted,”.
Mr. Majimbo and his committee have since accused the Governor of defiance, saying his refusal to appear before their committee is the highest form of impunity.
Wangamatii, whose relationship with a section or MCAs allied to Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula has continued to deteriorate, has however, promised to honour any summons by any committee provided they are done within the constitutional frameworks.
This development is just but one of those supremacy battles between the executive and the county legislation with Wangamati’s team accusing Wetang’ula or using the MCAs to frustrate the Governor’s development agenda.
These are the same MCAs who frustrated the Tujiajiri Youth Programme between the County Government and the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) where the County had allocated Ksh9 million for the programme with a similar addition from the donor. However, the bank pulled out of the deal after the MCAs diverted the budget allocation for the programme.
According the MoU, the bank would only top up the programme if the County Government of Bungoma had allocated some amount on the same. This now denied the youth an opportunity to tap into their potentials courtesy of the selfish MCAs who have become thorn in the flesh for the locals.
MERCHANTS OF BLACKMAIL
It will be remembered that these are the same MCAs who have been blackmailing the Governor with endless impeachment threats if he fails to honour their kickback demands. So far, none of their impeachment threats has ever materialized, putting their seriousness into suspicion.
The same County Assembly has been talk of rotten corruption right from the health insurance covers, car loans saga and the County Assembly bus where Speaker Situma and Clerk John Musongo have adversely been mentioned in the deals.
The irony is that the MCAs are alleging that the Governor has ‘incited the public” against them when they have been spewing venom in public against the executive. At one time, the MCAs shamelessly stormed the streets of Bungoma to protest against Mr. Wangamati when they clearly have legislation a platform to put the governor on the checks.
On that protest day, these Bungoma MCAs looked like a bunch of village idiots who had been paid to behave like the illiterate South Sudanese tongopols, halting traffic in a rather peaceful town.
So far, the said MCAs have been hiding behind the curtains of ‘checking the executive’ when their motives and instructions are well known by a known Lord of Poverty in Bukusu land.
During the Lusaka regime, these MCAs could walk into various offices and come out with bunches of money. However, that has changed since the new Governor took over, cutting short their hungry intestines for free money meant for the taxpayers.
Whenever you see these Bungoma MCAs making a lot of noise, just know they have ‘not eaten’.