Governor Oparanya denies fallout with his deputy Kutima

Kakamega Governor Wycliffee Oparanya and his deputy Prof Philip Kutima during a past event. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Malava MP Malulu Injendi asked Mr Oparanya to explain why he had dropped Prof Kutima from the Agricultural docket, despite the support he got from voters in Mavala constituency in 2017 polls.
  • He said he had decided to assign Prof Kutima the responsibility to supervise the cabinet in his absence after consultations with him.

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has defended his decision to relieve his deputy of the powerful Agricultural docket in changes he made to his cabinet on Thursday last week.

The Kakamega county boss dismissed reports that the move was as a result of a fallout between him and his deputy, Prof Philip Kutima.

He explained that contrary to speculation, he had relieved his deputy of the agriculture docket since he needed him to focus on the daily supervision of the running of the devolved unit, given his pressing engagements at the national level as the chairman of the Council of Governors (CoG).

He said he had decided to assign Prof Kutima the responsibility to supervise the cabinet in his absence after consultations with him.

“Following my added responsibilities at the national level, means that the deputy should shoulder greater supervisory responsibility than ever before which can better be effected when he unloads some of the responsibilities like being a CEC of a ministry,” said Mr Oparanya in a statement read by his chief of staff Mr Robert Sumbi.

“The changes I made to the County Executive Committee last week were the outcome of our continuous engagement with my deputy and consultations in furthering the broad interests of wananchi in this great County of Kakamega,” the Governor said.

The changes drew criticism from leaders in Kakamega North sub-county, who accused Governor Oparanya of being unfair to his deputy.

Malava MP Malulu Injendi asked Mr Oparanya to explain why he had dropped Prof Kutima from the Agricultural docket, despite the support he got from voters in Mavala constituency in 2017 polls.

But Mr Oparanya said: “Following my last week’s decision to reshuffle his cabinet, there has been increased speculation and misinformation among a section of leaders most of whom have failed to appreciate that this was a cabinet reshuffle and not fresh appointments.”

Mr Oparanya recalled from retirement former chairperson of the County Public Service board Mrs Rhoda Masaviru and appointed her county executive for Public Service and Administration.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala said Governor Oparanya had let down the youth in the county appointing retired officials to cabinet positions.

“It is unfortunate that Governor Oparanya did not give the youth an opportunity to serve in his cabinet.

"Why did Mr Oparanya recall a retired official to give her a job as a county executive when there are young, qualified and experienced people who can serve in this positions?” said Mr Malala.

But governor Oparanya said: “This being a reshuffle and not fresh appointments, the issue of appointment of youths and people living with disabilities does not arise. The reshuffle presented an opportunity to reorganize the government for better service delivery.”

[email protected]