Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza vows to end wastage and graft

Meru CECs

Meru governor Kawira Mwangaza (top in yellow) with nominees to the county executive committee on September 30, 2022.

Photo credit: David Muchui I Nation Media Group

Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza has unveiled her nominees for the County Executive Committee (CEC), promising to slash recurrent spending, curb wastage and tame corruption.

Ms Mwangaza sent the names of the 10 proposed CEC members to the county assembly. She also picked advisers on legal and health issues.

Among the nominees are four women, three pastors and two politicians.

Speaking at the official governor’s residence in Meru town on Friday, Ms Mwangaza said CEC members will be required to provide monthly reports to the public on the performance of their departments.

“I hope the county assembly will vet and approve the nominees. I have personally vetted each of the nominees and found them fit to hold the positions,” she said.

Ms Mwangaza retained County Secretary Rufus Miriti, who served under former governor Kiraitu Murungi for five years.

Kawira Mwangaza

Meru governor Kawira Mwangaza when she unveiled 10 nominees to the county executive committee on September 30, 2022.

Photo credit: David Muchui I Nation Media Group

She said her new team will work to trim the county workforce that stands at 6,000 by weeding out ghost workers and those irregularly hired.

The team will also ensure prudent use of public resources and prevent corruption and irregularities in procurement, she added.

“When I took office, I found a lot of irregularities, from human resources to procurement and use of county property,” she said. 

“We are looking into the employment irregularities and probing the pending bills to ensure only the genuine ones are paid. Ghost workers should resign before we get to them.”

She said several workers in county agencies were employed on permanent terms at the height of this year’s political campaigns.

“At the Meru Water and Sewerage Services (Mewass), we discovered that 45 workers were hired on a permanent basis on the same day,” she said. 

“At the alcohol board, 10 staff members were employed in August and their appointment letters backdated to January. Let the corrupt ones know that my government is very alert.”

Governor Mwangaza said a unit will be set up to probe laxity and corruption across the county offices.

She added: “Since we do not have room to employ, I have directed the communication department to educate our people on how they can do business with the county government. Contracts will not be a reserve of the few.”

To cut recurrent expenditure, Governor Mwangaza banned hotel meetings and instead directed that conferencing space be created at the county headquarters.

“I have seen a bill of up to Sh20 million from a hotel and on inquiring, I am told it is for tea and meetings. We cannot waste all this money in meetings,” Ms Mwangaza said. 

“Going forward, no government business will be discussed in hotels. We have space on the third floor of the county headquarters where meetings can be held.”

The governor also merged several directorates, cutting down the number of chief officers from 19 to 10.

She said she will form a task force to verify pending bills amounting to more than Sh1 billion.
 

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