Incoming first woman Governor of Embu Cecily Mbarire was on Thursday sworn in alongside her Deputy Kinyua Mugo in a colourful event held at Embu University grounds and presided by High court Judge Mary Kasango.
Ms.Mbarire who was vying on a United Democratic Alliance ticket (UDA) trounced three other candidates to clinch the seat after garnering 108, 620 votes against her closest rival Lenny Kivuti who managed to get 105, 246 votes.
Mbarire who was a nominated MP takes over as the second Governor from Martin Wambora who has served the maximum two terms limit.
Wambora was however conspicuously absent during the event attended by among others outgoing County Commissioner Eddyson Nyale, all MPs elect and Members of the County Assembly elect as well as hundreds of jubilant supporters of Ms Mbarire.
In her inaugural speech, Ms Mbarire expressed her gratitude to the electorate of the county for the overwhelming support they gave her terming them as the real heroes of her victory.
She pledged to work together with all elected leaders irrespective of their political affiliations in order to offer solutions to the people rather than waste the next five years in rhetoric and unnecessary divisions.
The Governor however regretted that she was inheriting an administration that was reeling from pending bills in excess of Sh 2.2 billion.
“This presents the single biggest challenge moving on because the current pending bills exceed the amount budgeted and spent in our county for all development in a single year,” she said.
She promised to get to the bottom of all the pending bills to ascertain their legality and therefore determine whether they are payable or not. This, she said, will necessitate carrying out a forensic audit on the said bills and where necessary, legal measures will be taken to correct the findings.
The Governor however, said her first task in 100 days will be to revive the healthcare system that was on its deathbed and clear the garbage piles that have become a common sight in all the towns across the county.
“We will ensure there is sustained provision of pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceutical supplies to our health facilities, while complementing the same with adequate budgetary support for the health sector,” she said.
By Samuel Waititu