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Tharaka Nithi Deputy Governor Nyamu Kagwima has vowed to conduct a thorough audit of county government spending under his boss Governor Muthomi Njuki if he wins the August 9 polls.
Addressing a political rally in Kibunga market in Tharaka constituency, Mr Kagwima (Wiper party) apologised to residents for the failure to fulfill the promises that they made during the 2017 election campaigns.
He said that in their 2017 manifesto, they promised to ensure that all residents got clean piped water by 2022 as one of their flagship projects but they have not achieved it.
“I promise to initiate a probe into the spending of over Sh25 billion that our county government received for the five years, because whatever has been achieved is negligible,” said Mr Kagwima.
He exonerated himself from the ‘poor performance’, arguing that after realising that there was no transparency and accountability in the use of public money by the devolved government, he warned his boss and later raised the alarm through the relevant institutions, including the media.
“When I started differing with my boss over the use of public resources, some people accused me of sabotaging him, but I was exonerated when he was later arrested and charged in a Sh34.9 million corruption case involving the procurement of an incinerator, a charge he denied and he is out on bail,” he said.
Mr Kagwima said the government should ensure that even when people have left public office, they should take responsibility for any financial queries raised about their tenure.
The former three-term Tharaka MP, who was also a Moi-era assistant minister, listed his achievements as a legislator, including ensuring the creation of the former Tharaka Nithi district from the larger Meru district that later became Tharaka Nithi County with the advent of devolution.
He said he lobbied for the construction of Kibunga Sub-County Hospital to the tune of Sh100 million.
He promised to ensure accountability and transparency in the use of county funds in order to achieve the dream of devolution, mainly empowering residents.
He urged residents to vote for the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga, arguing that if he wins, his party leader, Kalonzo Musyoka, would become Prime Minister and it would be easier for him to lobby for development projects.
Mr Kagwima also promised to ensure that the Marimanti-Murwamugu-Mukuyuni road that connects Tharaka Nithi and Meru counties is tarmacked.
He denied rumours that he had stepped down in favour of his Narc Kenya competitor Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia.
The other politician running for the governorship under the Azimio umbrella is Prof Erastus Njoka of the Jubilee Party, resulting in intense sibling rivalry.
Others angling for the coveted county chief seat are Gitari Mbiuki of Chama Cha Kazi and Ashford Kaugi Mbona, an independent candidate.