Governors react to Infotrak performance poll

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja.

Photo credit: Jeff Angote | Nation Media Group

Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja has dismissed his poor ranking in the latest Infotrak survey on the performance of counties as inconsistent with the realities on the ground.

Mr Samboja yesterday said the poll did not consider the wrangles that almost grounded operations in his county for the better part of last year.

In his statement, governor Samboja said that, between June and December 2019, his administration was embroiled in a political tussle with the assembly over the budget that resulted in his impeachment.

The opinion poll was conducted between October and December 2019.

Early childhood education

But in Isiolo, a section of residents accused governor Mohamed Kuti of sleeping on the job after he was ranked 39th with a mean score of 46.5 percent. The Countytrack Performance Index ranked Mr Kuti among the bottom five performers and the second worst among first-term governors.

Businessman Rashid Hassan criticised Mr Kuti, accusing him of failing to spur growth in the county, which had little to show despite receiving billions from the national government.

“I personally feel the governor's performance is way below what he got. What has he even done?” Mr Hassan posed.

Mr Denis Kinoti from Wabera Ward said Mr Kuti had neglected his electorate: “Health is on deathbed. The governor should have used his position in the Council of Governors to influence and lobby for funding to improve the health sector but we hardly see him.”

The poll graded counties’ capacity to deliver on all the devolved functions — health, agriculture, education, roads, energy, social services, early childhood education, tourism, trade, housing and settlement among others.

Mr Nuria Mohammed, another resident, the governor’s dismal performance was as a result of wrangles with local leaders, including MPs, who he said were hell-bent on sabotaging the county boss.

In Tharaka Nithi, governor Muthomi Njuki — one of the top performers according to the poll — urged his colleagues to use the report as a mirror to show them which areas they should improve on.

He said that, though he was ranked the eighth-best governor overall and the best in the Mt Kenya region, he does not take the report as a scorecard but a feedback tool from the public and that he intends to improve on the areas where he is weak.

“There are two sides of this report and most people are looking at one; the comprehensive report does not only show the departments where we succeed but also shows where we didn’t do well. It’s a tool that counties can use to plan ahead,” said Mr Njuki.

He said the report indicated that he scored poorly in youth, culture, sports and social services, and energy and would direct more effort there.

Mr Njuki at the same time thanked his staff for enabling him to shine and the residents for expressing confidence in him.

Reported by Ibrahim Oruko, Waweru Wairimu, Alex Njeru and Gitonga Marete

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