Three N.Eastern governors in bid to put their Executive in place

Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi

Wajir Governor Ahmed Abdullahi (left) on September 28, 2022. He has forwarded to the county assembly a list of 11 nominees for the county executive for vetting and subsequent approval.

Photo credit: Manase Otsialo I Nation Media Group

Three governors in northeastern Kenya have nominated their allies and strategists to key county posts as they assemble their ‘dream teams’ to fulfill campaign promises.

In Wajir, Governor Ahmed Abdullahi forwarded to the county assembly 11 nominees for vetting.

“I hereby wish to submit to the County Assembly the names of the following persons for the positions of County Executive Committee Members for vetting and approval in accordance with the mandate of the County Assembly under article 185 (3) of the constitution,” reads a notice from the governor.

The nominees include Mr Khalif Abdi Ali (Environment, Energy and Climate Change), Mr Mohamed Hassan Hussein (Roads, Transport, Public Works and Housing), Ms Saadia Ahmed Abdi (Lands, Spatial Planning and Urban Development) and Mr Farah Abdi Saman (Agriculture, Livestock and Veterinary Services).

Existing gaps

The others are Mr Salah Adan Abdi (Finance and Economic Planning), Ms Farhiya Abdille Maalim (Public Service, Special Programmes and County Administration), Mr Issa Garore Irobe (ICT, Trade, Investment and Industry), Mr Ahmed Mohamed Wardere (Education, Social Welfare and Family Affairs).

Governor Abdullahi also nominated Mr Mohamud Abdiraham Abdi (Water Services), Ms Habiba Ali Maalim (Health Services) and Mr Hillow Issack Mumin (County Secretary and Head of Public Service).

“The nominees shall fill the existing gaps within the County Executive Committee and will generally lead to meeting gender, religion and cultural requirements as well as academic and integrity for the said positions in line with the constitution,” the governor said.

All the nominees are new faces, except Mr Khalif Abdi Ali, who once served as chief officer in previous administrations.

ASAL governors

From right: Garissa Governor Nathif Jama, Marsabit's Ali Mohamud, Wajir's Ahmed Abdullahi and Mandera's Mohamed Aden Khalif addressing journalists in Mombasa in a recent event. The northern Kenya governors have started forming their cabinets.

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

Wajir County suffered political instability after the impeachment of Mr Abdi Mohamud in May last year by assembly members.

The deputy governor at the time, Ali Muktar, took over as governor, only to lose in the August elections to Mr Abdullahi, the pioneer Wajir governor, between 2013 and 2017.

In Mandera, Governor Mohamed Khalif has advertised 10 executive posts, 28 chief officer positions and a county secretary.

A member of the Count Executive Committee (CEC) must be a holder of a university degree and demonstrate a thorough understanding of devolution.

Dismissed the advert

“One must understand the diversity, challenges and opportunities within the county and have the capacity to work under pressure to meet deadlines,” reads the advert.

Some Mandera residents have dismissed the advert, calling it a formality “when the team has already been picked”.

“We are being blinded by the advertisement. The team has already been assembled and decided. The advertisement is just for protection against any lawsuit that will follow immediately after the appointments,” said Mr Hussein Abdi, a resident of Mandera.

In Garissa, Governor Nathif Jama has nominated 10 individuals to the CEC.

Natural resources

They include Mr Hassan Abdirazak Mohamed (Agriculture, Livestock and Pastoral Economy), Mr Abass Ismail Khaar (Finance and Economic Planning), Mr Ahmed Mohamed Ibrahim (Water, Environment and Natural Resources) and Ms Zahra Musa Aden (Public Service and Intergovernmental Relations).

The others are Ms Hawa Abdi Sahal (Education), Ms Rahma Dubow (Culture, Gender, Youths and Sports), Mr Ahmednadhir Omar Sheikh (Health), Mr Mohamed Suleiman Mohamed (Trade, Investments and Enterprise Development), Mr Nassir Mohamed Aden (Roads, Transport and Public Works) and Mr Mohamed Hussein Mohamed (Lands, Physical Planning and Urban Development).

Members of county assembly (MCAs) in all the three counties are in Mombasa for their induction. They are expected back home starting next week. Their first task will be forming House committees before they start vetting the nominees.

The Mandera County Assembly is expected to resume business on October 11, according to Mr Omar Maalim, the assembly Speaker.