For Online E-newspaper
Daily Nation : February 19th 2014
DAILY NATION Wednesday February 19, 2014 NAIROBI | Bosses awaiting advisory opinion by High Court and Supreme Court Suspend summons, say governors T County chiefs question legality of move by Senate asking them to appear before it BY OUMA WANZALA @Iwanzala email@example.com he Council of Governors yesterday asked the Senate to suspend the summons it has issued to various county bosses pending an advisory opinion by the High Court and the Supreme Court. In a resolution read to jour- nalists in Nairobi after a special sitting of the council, chairman Isaac Rutto said they are questioning the constitutionality of the summons in relation to the role and functions of the Senate. “This should not be construed as an act of defiance. We believe in the rule of law and accountability in governance,” he said, adding that there can be no democratic system of government without transparency, accountability and respect of the rule of law. Railway scandal The governors said that their The National Assembly supervises the national government while the county assembly plays an oversight role over county government” Council of Governors chairman Isaac Ruto LAIKIPIA White rhino moved in attempt to save species from extinction BY NATION CORRESPONDENT A white rhino has been moved from Lewa Conservancy to Ol Pejeta Wildlife Sanctuary to save the species from extinction. The southern white male rhino was introduced to the Laikipia County-based sanctuary where two northern white female rhinos live, in a last attempt global effort to save their kind. The Kenya Wildlife Serv- ice (KWS) successful ly oversaw the translocation of the rhino from the 62,000acre Lewa Conservancy to the 90,000-acre Ol Pejeta Sanctuary. Ol Pejeta’s chief executive Richard Vigne said the male rhino had been moved to the endangered species enclosure to mate with the two females — Fatu and Najin. “This match-making project is a collaboration between the KWS, Ol Pejeta and Lewa Conservancy. The translocation 2009 Year when attempts to breed four northern white rhinos failed. was smooth, with the male rhino arriving at his new home just a few hours after being darted by the veterinary unit in Lewa,” said Mr Vigne. On December 20, 2009, four northern white rhinos, the only ones remaining in the world were airlifted from Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic to Ol Pejeta, after previous breeding attempts in the zoo proved futile prompting a worldwide search for a conducive environment for the animals to flourish. The search led to Ol Pejeta, which has rich grasslands similar to the natural habitat of the species, and has also shown to be a suitable breeding ground for black rhinos. “With few northern white rhinos remaining, it is imperative to pull out all the stops to try and encourage a future generation. So, our wildlife team has come up with a plan B that would enhance breeding possibilities,” said the Ol Pejeta CEO. county executives and other county chief officers are the ones who should be held accountable in case of any financial mismanagement and not them. They argued that President Kenyatta had not been summoned by the National Assembly committee investigating the standard gauge railway scandal and therefore the senators cannot summon them. “The National Assembly su- pervises the national government while the county assembly plays an oversight role over county government, so the Senate cannot purport to play an oversight role over governors,” said Mr Rutto. He said their failure to turn up after the Senate summoned them should not be seen as a war between the senators and the governors, adding that the REACTION Ruto denies funds misused Mr Isaac Ruto denied al- legations that governors had misappropriated funds and failed to account for millions of shillings. He said that the Auditor- General report was misleading, adding that no funds were misappropriated. Constitution clearly spells out their roles. The governors insisted that they are accountable to the public and that they are only engaged in policy formulation and general direction and not day-to-day running of the counties. Mr Rutto said 17 governors have been summoned through a letter dated February 8 to appear before the Finance Committee on various dates. “Whereas under the provisions of article 125 of the Constitution, the Senate can summon any person to appear before BILLY MUTAI | NATION Governors, led by their chairman Isaac Rutto (seated second right), during a press conference at Panafric Hotel in Nairobi yesterday. it, to give evidence or provide information, this provision can only be revoked when the Senate exercises its oversight responsibility,” said Mr Rutto. He said that article 226(2) of the Constitution provides specific guidance on accountability of county government funds and vests the oversight authority on county assemblies. Mr Rutto said the specific issues that require resolution include provisions of article 96 and 226(2) of the Constitution, section 148 of the Public Financial Management Act 2012 and section 30 of the County Government Act 2012 and whether the governor is an accounting officer of the county government. He also said they want clari- fication on article 226(2) of the Constitution on whether an accounting officer of the county government is accountable to the Senate on its financial management. KILIFI Alarm as workers quit jobs at Galana project BY NATION CORRESPONDENT Workers are abandoning their jobs at the multi-billion-shilling Galana/Kulalu Food Security Project in Tana and Kilifi counties without explanation, a manager has said. Agricultural Development Cooperation Coast manager Mohamed Bule said 20 of the 50 workers had quit and appealed to local leaders to intervene. He, however, said the majority of employees hired from local communities had no experience and could only work as site clerks, watchmen, cooks and other menial jobs. “The community lacks professionals and the few that are there don’t stay long. They are in towns and have not even bothered to apply,” he said. But Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi claimed there might be a plot to frustrate local workers to resign and give their jobs to outsiders. Hard times Mr Kingi said it was ridic- ulous for someone to claim residents would refuse jobs in these hard times. “It is so unfortunate that some people have decided to frustrate the immediate beneficiaries of the project so that they can bring in their people,” said Mr Kingi. He said the executive member for agriculture would investigate the claims. They are also seeking clarifica- tion on article 6,189 and 226 on whether the Senate can summon a governor to personally appear before it to answer questions on county public financial management. He said they had given the Supreme Court an opportunity to articulate the issues raised. The chairman further dis- closed that they had also sought the opinion of the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution. Earlier, the governors held a meeting with former Embu governor Martin Wambora. Meanwhile, the national gov- ernment has started handing over agriculture training centres and mechanisation stations to county governments. However, several county gov- ernments yesterday said the national government should clear all the debts of the institutions before handing them over. County News 19 BRIEFLY KAKAMEGA School closed after students go on strike Samitsi Secondary School in Kakamega North district was closed indefinitely yesterday after students went on a rampage. The students smashed windowpanes and destroyed property complaining of poor meals in the Monday night strike. The learners also demanded the transfer of head teacher Patrick Akule claiming he had been at the school for too long. Police boss Justus Kitetu said no arrests were made. BUNGOMA Ex-council workers cry foul as job losses loom Former employees of the defunct local authorities in Bungoma County have protested against bias and unfairness in their deployment. The workers said many have been left without stations to operate from and are worried that they may be sacked. County Workers Union Bungoma branch chairman Florian Nganga accused the Transition Authority coordinator Juma Matsantza of leaving the staff without stations. UASIN GISHU Varsity in Sh800m bid to build campus Mount Kenya University has commissioned six acres in Eldoret in a move to increase its student intake and ease congestion. The land located on Kapsoya Road a few metres from Moi Girls High School is set to host a list of buildings worth over Sh800 million. According to the campus director, Dr Robert Mindla, the land will host tuition blocks, a modern library, a student centre among others. BARINGO Stolen animals found and given to owners More than 21 animals of the 45 stolen last week by suspected raiders at Katilomwo in Baringo South sub-county have been recovered as the government steps up recovery of stolen animals. Speaking yesterday in Marigat where the animals were handed over to the owners, county commissioner Benard Leparmarai said that of the 45 animals stolen during the raid, two were shot dead while 17 are still missing. TRANS NZOIA CDF committee gives out Sh3.6m bursaries The Kiminini CDF commit- tee has disbursed Sh3.6 million bursaries for 265 bright needy students in the area. The chairman, Mr John Siboe, said they had decided with area MP Chris Wamalwa to have part of the CDF allocation to the constituency channelled to education. “We received Sh80 million and decided to allocate Sh3.6 million to education after getting a lot of bursary applications,” he said.
February 18th 2014
February 20th 2014