Kericho MCAs shift venue from Ruto's Weston to Nakuru hotel following public outcry

Weston Hotel on Langata road in Nairobi.

Weston Hotel on Langata road in Nairobi. Kericho MCAs were to attend a five-day training session at the facility on how to vet the nominees for Chief Officers positions before changing venue to a high-end Nakuru hotel.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The Kericho County Assembly has changed the venue for training 47 legislators on vetting of Chief Officers nominated by Governor Erick Mutai.

Dr Patrick Mutai, the Speaker of the County Assembly, on Tuesday sanctioned the pre-vetting session at Nairobi’s Weston hotel, owned by President William Ruto.

But following a public outcry on the Assembly defying austerity measures in all government units ordered by the President, the session was moved to a high-end hotel in Nakuru City where the MCAs have been undergoing the training.

The venue of sessions for MCAs is a major issue as it dictates the allowances they will be paid, thus the rush to hold meetings in Kisumu, Nairobi, Mombasa and now Nakuru after it was conferred a city status.

With Nakuru enjoying a city status, the MCAs will each pocket Sh 14,000 night out allowance (perdiem) while the Speaker gets Sh 16,800 daily for four days.

Cumulatively, the MCAs will be paid Sh 2,6232,000 while the Speaker is paid Sh 67,200 for the four nights which translates to Sh2,669,200 to be passed on to the taxpayers.

The amount excludes what the assembly is paying the hotel for hiring of a hall, food, drinks and other incidentals.

It also does not include allowances for clerks, drivers and other cadre of employees accompanying the MCAs, and fueling of motor vehicles used.

The assembly is also expected to pay tens of thousands of shillings to facilitators engaged to take them through the training.

“It is true, we have relocated the training to Nakuru for various reasons. The session will come to a close on Saturday evening to enable members travel to their wards for various engagements,” said a senior officer at the assembly, who did want to be named due to the public backlash.

Leader of the Majority at the Kericho County Assembly Paul Chirchir.

Leader of the Majority at the Kericho County Assembly Paul Chirchir. He defended training of Kericho MCAs saying it would equip them with skills to vet the nominees for Chief Officers positions.

Photo credit: Vitalis Kimutai | Nation Media Group

Mr Paul Chirchir, the embattled leader of the majority at the assembly, told the Nation in an interview that the MCAs would undergo various training sessions and not only on the issue of pre-vetting as stated in the memo.

“We will also be aligning the vetting timetable for the Chief Officers by the various departmental committees so that it does not run concurrently. This would enable the MCAs in more than one committee not to be constrained on allocating time to participate in the process” Mr Chirchir said.

While the nominees for the County Executive Committee (CEC) positions were vetted by the Committee on Appointments, the Chief Officers are set to be subjected to the process by the line departmental committees.

“Training of the MCAs, majority of whom are new in the assembly, is a very important component in capacity building, so as to ensure we get the right caliber of officers for the positions to be filled with the 12 nominees already forwarded by the executive for vetting,” Mr Chirchir said.

The 12 nominees forwarded to the assembly for vetting for positions of Chief Officers are –Ms Rosemary Chelangat (Finance), Mr David Kurgat Kiplangat (Economic Planning), Mr Willy Rop Kiprono (Agriculture), Mr Michael Bett Kiprotich (Livestock and Cooperatives Management, Mr Wesley Koech (Water, Environment, Energy, Forestry, and Natural Resources) Mr Japeth Cheruiyot (Health Services) and Mr Richard Tonui Kibet (Education, Culture, Libraries and Social Services).

Others are –Mr Geoffrey Kipngeno Bett (Information, Communication, and E-Government, Youth Affairs, Gender and Sports), Mr Alphonse Rotich Kipkirui (Land, Housing and Physical Planning), Mr Anderson Terer Cheruiyot (Public Works, Road and Transport), Ms Betsy Chebet (Public Service Management) and Mr Gilbert Kipkirui Bii (Trade, Trade, Industrialization, Innovation, Tourism and Wildlife).