Cracks are emerging within the Lamu County Jubilee leadership, eight months after the August 2017 election with area Senator, Anwar Loitiptip accusing Governor Fahim Twaha of lethargy and mismanagement of county resources.
Speaking on Saturday during a Senate Parliamentary security committee tour of Mpeketoni to access the county’s security situation, Loitiptip accused the devolved unit of failing to provide essential services to the residents including quality health care and infrastructure.
He was accompanied by his counterparts, Yussuf Haji (Garissa), Judith Pareno (nominated) and Moses Wetang’ula (Bungoma).
“The governor is not keen on addressing issues affecting residents and is only interested in lining his pockets with county funds,” Loitiptip stated.
He further alleged that the County Health Executive, Dr. Anne Gathoni and senior county medical staff had misappropriated Sh.19 million to facilitate a benchmarking trip in China at the expense of ensuring adequate provision of medicine in county hospitals.
The county currently owes Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) Sh.9 million, amid reports that this debt could be behind the reason why there was lack of medicine in county clinics.
He observed that a tour of the Mpeketoni Sub County hospital had convinced him that the county administration was lax in delivering essential services to its residents.
“In some wards the patients do not have mattresses, which makes you wonder whether the county government really wants to spend Sh.1.2 billion in health care service delivery in the region,” he stated.
The senator further said that his office will soon call for a lifestyle audit of senior county officials, whom he said were only keen to win tenders.
It is widely speculated that the Senator was behind the ouster of former Health executive and County Secretary on grounds that they were corrupt and had awarded themselves tenders amounting to more than Sh.200 million.
“The current administration is wanting and unless the governor shows more determination in resolving issues affecting Lamu, we will continue to hold tail position among the 47 counties,” the senator stated.
He also took issue with the H-Young contractor who has been tasked with building the 118 kilometre Lamu- Garsen road but even after being paid more than Sh.4 billion, two years on there was nothing to show for it.
“The H-Young contractors are taking us for a ride, how comes a road commissioned by the President himself in 2016 still has no inch of tarmac on it?” he quipped.
He said that the Senate will summon the contractor to explain the cause for delay which he attributed to insecurity in the region.
“The poor state of the roads has only made it more difficult for trade and the emergence of satellite towns in Lamu,” stated the senator.
Nominated MCA, Amina Kale also touched on the thorny Lamu-Garsen road issue, which she said was the reason behind the excessive road checks in Lamu.
“The contractor needs to explain the reason behind the poor workmanship and the county government should be at the forefront in questioning why they were still at the initial stages of building that road two years on,” she said.
However, a source at the road construction company has intimated that the contractor is still mobilizing resources before embarking on the project.
By Amenya Ochieng