The County Assembly of Bungoma has concluded vetting of nominees to fill slots for the newly elevated Kimilili and Bungoma municipalities.
The fate of the eight nominees who underwent vetting now lies in the hands of the vetting committee and the County Assembly who will either approve or reject the nominees.
The vetting was conducted by the Committee on Lands, Urban, Physical planning, Housing, Trade, Energy and Industrialization chaired by Bumula MCA, Humprey Sifuna.
One of the nominees, Edward Kituyi failed to show up for the vetting. The committee was further informed that the nominee never even picked the vetting questionnaire from the Office of the Clerk.
Accordingly, the committee chairperson declared that the nominee had declined the nomination.
“Hon. Members, we shall take it that Kituyi has declined the nomination since he never picked up the vetting questionnaire for filling nor has he turned up for vetting,” he said.
Yet another nominee, Catherine Keya shocked the committee when she indicated that she does not understand English forcing the committee members to resort to use of Kiswahili.
However, the Khalaba MCA, Henry Majimbo, a member of the committee put the nominee to task on how she would perform her duties without grasp of the English language.
“How will you perform your role? You do not meet the minimum education threshold of a Diploma, you don’t understand English yet most committee meetings are conducted in the foreign language,” posed Majimbo.
The nominee who is a trader in Kimilili market dropped out of school in standard seven. She told the committee she had been nominated by traders whom she leads at the market to sit on the board.
Elsewhere, Jackline Malomba who was turned away by the Panel for failing to bring along her original academic documents during the exercise in Bungoma was vetted in Kimilili.
Former Kimilili Mayor, Makhapila Mwangale who was also one of the nominees could not explain how he will transform the municipality if confirmed the County Assembly.
Makhapila had a hard time convincing the committee on his suitability for the position insisting that his experience as mayor in the then defunct Kimilili municipal council will enable him combat corruption.
The eight nominees for each of the two municipalities were either picked by the Governor competitively, or nominated by professional bodies and organized groups.
The county executive for Urban and Physical planning will also sit in the Board as a Member.
Among those vetted for slots in Bungoma Municiplaity were former Bungoma Mayor, Justus Barasa Mbinga, former Bungoma Deputy Mayor, Edith Shitandi and politicians, Wabwoba Walinywa who contested for the gubernatorial seat in 2013 and lost.
The World Bank, which has been providing funds for urban support across municipalities in the Country, has imposed tough conditions requiring all benefitting Municipalities to have functional Boards before they are funded.
Bungoma County has benefitted from Sh.300 million in the first phase and will be getting close to Sh.1 billion in the second phase.
The Municipality boards once approved will be in charge of managing infrastructure, ensuring access by residents to key amenities like water, electricity, sewerage system and beatification and cleanliness of the town.
They will also collect revenue from the two municipalities of Bungoma and Kimilili.
By Douglas Mudambo