Mombasa Speaker Aharub Katri: Most of Joho's executives were 'untouchables'

Mombasa Speaker Aharub Khatri (right) with the Deputy Governor Francis Thoya during the swearing in Ceremony of the new county executives.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit I Nation Media Group

Mombasa Speaker Aharub Katri has laid bare the tribulations the county assembly went through during the reign of retired Governor Hassan Joho saying some of the County Executives were ‘untouchables’.

Mr Khatri said due to their association with the former county boss, the county executives could come up with directives that affected the taxpayers. 

He singled out former County Executive Tawfiq Balala who introduced and implemented a controversial traffic management system to reduce congestion in the city, without involving the assembly.

Mr Balala had converted all Mombasa Island streets into a one-way traffic system which saw motorists from the Nyali bridge required to turn left onto Sheikh Abdallah Farsy road as opposed to going straight to Saba Saba.

However, the “Double 2 Double” traffic management where all streets and lanes were converted into a one-way route was halted a week after it failed to achieve its objectives following a major uproar by motorists, residents and the Kenya National Highways Authority.

When he was summoned by the assembly, Mr Balala refused to honour the summons. He was almost impeached by the MCA's but he was saved by the former Governor.

"We used to have some super county executives who chest thumped that they were crème dela crème, but their history in governance was bad. I urge the new executives to help Governor Sharrif. This office is temporary, don’t forget yourselves and become bosses. Serve people and put your interests aside," he added.

He spoke during the swearing in of the new county executives to serve in Governor Abdulswamad Nassir.

He also told them not to deceive the governor. 

"Follow the laws, listen to the masses and ensure there's public participation in all matters affecting the masses. I remember there was a county executive who came up with a traffic system without involving any stakeholders, he erred. Learn from the past executives," he added.

The Speaker who is serving a second term urged the executives to respect the assembly.

He further urged Governor Nassir to look into the remuneration of the county staff adding that the minimum wage has stagnated for years.

"I met a county askari who said he is paid Sh7,000, how does he manage to feed his family, school fees and clothing? Mr Nassir, let's ensure we remunerate our staff well, or else they will be engaged in corruption. There are people who have worked here for more than 15 years, please review their salaries," he said. 

However, he warned county staff against being involved in corruption.

He told the newly sworn in County Executives to help the governor achieve his manifesto.

"To the newly sworn in county executives, I beseech you to work for the people, that is your number one priority and responsibility. Tax is a major issue but let's ease the burden to our residents, bring change, cut expenditure," he said.

Deputy Governor Francis Thoya who also doubles up as the county executive in charge of environment told his colleagues to ensure they address challenges in the county including unemployment, water shortages and deteriorated health sector. 

The new executives include Mbwarali Kame Mboramad (Education and Digital Transformation), Mr Evans Oanda-(Finance and Economic Planning), Dr Swabah Ahmed Omar-(Health Services), Mr Daniel Otieno Manyala (Transport and Infrastructure) and Ms Emily Achieng Okello (Water, Natural Resources and Climate Change Resilience).

Also in the list are Mohamed Hussein Mohamed (Lands, Housing and Urban Planning), Mr Kenneth Muigai (Public Service Administration, Youth, Gender, Social Services and Sports), Ms Kibibi Abdallah Khamis (Blue Economy Agriculture and Livestock) and Mr Mohamed Osman who is in charge of Tourism, Culture and Trade.

Governor Nassir urged the executives to support him to achieve his election manifesto. 


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