The “High Table Club” as we have coined them in Nandi County Civil Society movement, is a team of gluttonous high-ranking individuals who often pass policies and make key decisions to the benefit of their selfish interests – first.
- Governor – Cleophas Kiprop Lagat
- County Secretary – Francis Angueyah Ominde
- C.E.C Finance – Charles Kimeli Muge
- Nandi County Public Service Board Secretary – Esther Chelagat Letting
The above named top officials are responsible for the good, the bad and the ugly of Nandi County. Needless to say, there is only minimal “good” to none, and what has manifested in the county is the “bad” and the “ugly”.
The buck stops at the county chief who have shown lack interest and basic skills to manage and develop the vast resources in Nandi County only focusing on enriching himself and his closest cronies.
Being a member of County Policing Authority and Council of Governors, he declared the construction of a scandalous 50 million gate (let’s pretend to agree their 14 million amount) at Mlango border of Nandi and Jackson Mandago’s Uasin Gishu County. Two metallic stands and a curve on top couldn’t amount to Ksh 14,000,000. The said filling station, tourist attraction artefacts, curio shops and walkways to complement the infamous gate are not there, neither are signs of construction. This was outright theft of county taxes, causing extremely slow development progress.
Justice delayed is justice denied, and so is bursary. The disbursement of bursary funds has never been enjoyed by residents of Nandi County since the county’s inception in 2013 (4 years down the line), rendering thousands of bright but needy students unschooled. This is against the Constitution of Kenya where every child, regardless of social status, is entitled to enjoy education. Lagat blamed MCAs for not passing laws and regulations to guide disbursement, but rumour has it that he allegedly paid each MCA about Ksh 5 – 7 million through various allocations and overstretched benefits to mum and avoid impeachment. County communications have since come out to announce bursary distribution began last month, when it is only 7 months to county dissolution and a general election due in August.
The conspiracy to misuse funds both by the county governments and assemblies is believed to be the reason behind instant village millionaires in many regions across the country. In their role to represent, legislate and oversight on the running of the county and making sure that the voice and preference of the people is part of county’s decision-making, few MCAs have become tools of trade to siphon public funds.
The auditor’s report has also put the 48 MCAs on the spot after they obtained a total of Sh245 million as mortgage and car loans but used the money for other errands. Each of the 48 MCAs and their speaker, according to the report, accessed Sh 5 million of which Sh3 million was to support them buy houses while Sh 2 million was to facilitate them to purchase new cars but none of them spent the money on the stated items.
The County lost about half a billion in the process.
His fierce Secretary, appointed the first County Secretary and Head of Public Service has hidden from the limelight but is said to be echoing his bosses’ demands and actively involved in the ‘club’ of elite that decides what, when, where and how things operates.
The County Public Service Board is working in shortlisting, vetting, recruitment and deployment of staff in various positions. It is in no doubt that the board has employed some quacks, not by the qualification and experience but by blood relation and friendship. It is clearly evident from the gross misspelling and format of county documents, poor public services experienced in Kapsabet Referral Hospital where electricity, water and basic medicine has been a challenge sometimes, tendering and payment irregularities, among other departments.
Minister of Finance Charles Kimeli Muge approves payments to various invoices. Some of the invoices are fake payments that can easily be detected, but conspiracy to split and have a share of the cash leads to unscrupulous payments. The scandal of Mortgage and Car Loans to 48 MCAs and one Assembly Speaker totalling to Ksh 485 million was enough amount to trigger suspicions and raise a red flag.
On the other hand, Esther Letting has terribly failed her responsibility by abdicating her board’s roles to the citizens. The nation was recently shocked when a quack doctor, paid by Nandi County Health office Ksh 150,000 per month, was unearthed by Tindiret residents. In her defence that NCPSB do not deal with doctors and clinicians, it is the overall duty of the board to vet and verify every county employee (regardless of approving body) since Health is a devolved function.
News of Esther vying for a Woman Representative in August has been received with contempt largely from the educated class, who know about her dealings in county staff recruitment. Employment irregularities in Nandi Public Service Board has become her greatest undoing, and has now resorted to take advantage of the uneducated in the community. Her closest cronies divert concerns of her involvement in the employment board, desperately saying that the board members are responsible, yet Esther reports to NCPSB office daily, unlike Board Members who appear once in a while.
Reports that have been reaching the NCCSN describe nepotism and corruption in County Public Service Board. In a worst case scenario, a case of a husband and her wife – both unqualified – employed in the same department shocked members of the civil society and residents in the know!
County Have Your Say!