You have abandoned Kakamega residents, ex-allies tell Oparanya

Oparanya
Oparanya

What you need to know:

  • The MPs have lately sustained their onslaught on Governor Oparanya’s administration leading to a political falling-out.
  • A protest planned for Monday by traders was called off at the last minute.
  • This was Mr Savula said he planned to sue the county government for demolishing traders' kiosks.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya is facing criticism from former allies who have accused him of abandoning residents during his final term in office.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala and MPs Ayub Savula (Lugari) and Titus Khamala (Lurambi) have lately sustained their onslaught on Governor Oparanya’s administration leading to a political falling-out.

A protest planned for Monday by traders was called off at the last minute after Mr Savula said he planned to sue the county government for demolishing traders' kiosks.

“I have instructed a lawyer to look into the matter and seek redress for those who lost their property during the demolitions,” said Mr Savula.

2022 politics

The political tiff gravitates around the tussle for the governor’s position in 2022.

Both Mr Malala and Mr Savula, both members of Amani National Congress party, have declared that they will be in the race to succeed Governor Oparanya and have emerged as fierce critics of his administration.

On Saturday, Senator Malala mobilised traders to take part in protest after county enforcement officers demolished kiosks in the town.

The protests disrupted activities at the county headquarters on Saturday morning as Governor Oparanya was preparing to receive Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and his Devolution counterpart Eugene Wamalwa.

Mr Kagwe who accompanied by Ministry of Health officials was in Kakamega to assess the level of Covid-19 preparedness in the region.

Covid-19 disruptions

Some of the protesters accused Governor Oparanya of using county enforcement officers to harass traders who are struggling to eke out a living after their businesses were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have got to a point where we cannot take it anymore. The county enforcement officers are behaving like a law unto themselves. If they do not change and respect our traders and mama mbogas, we will mobilise residents to deal with them,” said Bishop Khamala.

Senator Malala has often accused the county government of not involving the youth in development activities in the region.

“We want Governor Oparanya to know that what the enforcement officers did is wrong. They cannot demolish kiosks and destroy property belonging to traders who are struggling to survive while going through tough times and get away with it,” said Senator Malala.

Jobs for retired officers

Last week, the senator faulted Governor Oparanya for picking Ms Rhoda Masaviru, who had retired after serving as the chairperson of the public service board, and appointed her the county executive member for Public Service and Administration.

He said it was wrong for Governor Oparanya to give jobs to retired officers while there are youthful and qualified professionals without jobs.

Senator Malala said Mr Oparanya has let down the youth in the county by 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 these positions?” said Mr Malala.

But Governor Oparanya defended his actions, saying the only there were no fresh appointments in the county government.

“This being a reshuffle and not fresh appointments, the issue of appointment of youth and people living with disabilities does not arise. The reshuffle presented an opportunity to reorganise the government for better service delivery,” said the county boss.

At the same time, Senator Malala wondered why funds were allocated in the budget to the governor’s cup tournament when no activities have taken place.