Governor Nassir: Any qualified Kenyan can serve in Mombasa executive

Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit I Nation Media Group

Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir has rejected claims that he has delayed naming his cabinet because of pressure from powerful politicians.

Mr Nassir, who was sworn in two months ago, termed the reports false, adding that no one is interfering with his administration. 

"Those are rumours, treat them as such," said Governor Nassir.

But he said he will name his cabinet of 10 professionals within 10 days after interviewing shortlisted candidates.

The county has formed three committees to help him vet successful candidates.

“Despite the law and Constitution allowing me to pick county executives, I have decided to allow everyone to help us build Mombasa,” he added. 

“I am involving professionals to help me pick individuals who will serve in my administration. We want professionals who also understand my manifesto and vision for Mombasa to revive the economy.”

The panels to vet those applying for positions on the County Executive Committee (CEC) will be led by Mahmoud Noor, an official from the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Mombasa chapter.

Mr Noor was Governor Nassir’s campaign manager.

The members include Pastor Ibrahim Charo, former Chief Kadhi Sheikh Ahmad Kassim, former Mombasa Law Society of Kenya (LSK) chairman Benjamin Njoroge and a representative from the Mombasa diaspora council.

Dr Wilfred Githinji, a lecturer at Kenya Methodist University (Kemu), will chair the committee to pick the new county secretary.

Others on that committee are Institute of Certified Public Accountants Kenya (ICPAK) official Oscar Juma, LSK officials Mwinyi Bwika and a representative from the County Government Workers Union.

The governor said he resorted to advertising the positions to ensure the county gets qualified professionals in different fields to help him implement his manifesto.

The constitutional deadline for the county chief to form his administration has lapsed.
Under the 2012 County Government Act, the outgoing county executives should remain in office until a new committee is constituted.

The Act also says: “The constitution of a new executive committee after an election shall be finalised within 21 days of the swearing-in of the members of the county assembly.”

For a month now, speculation has been rife that the first-term governor had delayed naming his cabinet on time due to interference from powerful forces, including politicians in and outside Mombasa who were pushing for their relatives to be employed as top county officials.

Mr Nassir has now invited competent professionals to apply for the 10 cabinet positions, 16 chief officers and a county secretary.

The CEC positions to be filled include the heads of the departments of Education and Digital Transformation; Lands, Housing and Urban Planning; and Water, Natural Resources and Climate and Change Resilience.

Also needed are the heads of Environment and Solid Waste Management; Transport and Infrastructure; Finance and Economic Planning; Health, Blue Economy, Agriculture and Livestock; Public Service Administration, Youth Gender and Sports; and Tourism, Culture and Trade.

The governor is also hiring chief officers for several departments.

They include Water and Sanitation; Renewable Energy, Natural Resources and Climate Change Resilience; Environment and Solid Waste Management; Transport and Infrastructure; Public Health and Disease Prevention; Clinical Services; and Finance and Economic Planning.

“With this as per the County Government Act, we will write a letter to the Public Service Board to hire chief officers. But county executives will be passing through a process of interviews,” Mr Nassir. 

“It will be the first time the county executive members are interviewed. These adverts will be out by tomorrow for anyone to apply regardless of political persuasion, religion or ethnicity.”