The residents of Bungoma County cry foul on matters of appointments in the county government. They claim that the Deputy Governor only employs kinsmen and neighbors whenever an opportunity arises. It all begun in 2017 when the deputy governor influenced appointments of several office holders in the county government.
At that point it seemed to be normal practice but this has gone too far since then. The county with over 1.6m residents has three major sub-tribes namely; Tachoni, Bukusus who are the majority and the Sabaots in Mt. Elgon.
Therefore, any appointment within the county is based on several parameters. That’s youth, gender, ethnicity and people living with disability should be given consideration. Now that the sub-tribes have the clans that mean the appointing authority ought to give it consideration too. All the above cannot be exhausted fully because the chances are limited.
Basing on the issues surrounding county 39, the deputy governor is accused of nepotism in appointments and awarding of tenders. The deputy governor Prof. Ngome Kibanani who hails from Tongaren constituency with roots from Mihuu ward within Webuye east constituency, has consistently appointed his clansmen and women from the village of origin.
Over ten appointments have been made so far from Webuye east but 95% are from one ward that’s Mihuu ward.
The officers appointed are either close relatives or neighbors. The spirit of devolution is not adhered to as far as appointments are concerned. The constituency has three wards with Ndivisi being the most popular but with only one appointment in the county government.
The only beneficiary was one Mr. Stan Wepundi the personal assistant to the governor. This appointment was made by the governor himself no wonder an outsider from DG’s circle managed to secure the opportunity.
The very first appointments after 2017 elections are listed below;
- Ms. Everlyne Kakai Ngome—CECM sports, culture and gender. She hails from Mihuu location and a relative to the deputy governor.
- Ms. Phoebe Buchunju is the chief officer. A relative to the DG and resident of Mihuu ward.
- Mr. Fred Power who hails from Mihuu sub-location is in charge of protocol in deputy governor’s office.
- Ms. Carolyne Buyela was appointed director for special programs. She’s from Mihuu sub-location and a neighbor to the deputy Governor’s ancestral home.
- Mr. Mutali PPO who is a member of public service board is from Misimo sub-location within Mihuu ward.
- Mr. John Wangwe is the personal assistant to the Deputy Governor is also from Mihuu sub-location in Mihuu ward.
- Mr. Eric Wambasi is protocol officer in the deputy governor’s office. The officer is resident of Mihuu sub-location.
- Rose Buyuni latest appointment as a member of Webuye county Hospital board hails from Mihuu ward.
- Lubwani Munjaru latest appointment as a member of Webuye county Hospital board hails from Mihuu ward.
- Julius Mukongolo latest appointment as a member of Webuye county Hospital board hails from Mihuu ward.
The community within Ndivisi Ward is wondering if WWW regime is really interested in re-election come 2022. “How can such a most popular Ward fail to get a slot in the county government? Which platform will the current regime stand on during campaigning period?”.
The other notable appointments are Job Chelongo who has since settled in Maraka ward. Maraka ward has one other appointment as the director, Mr. Martin Wafula. A ward administrator his name withheld asked, “How will the DG prof. Ngome campaign in other regions in Bungoma now that he concentrated all appointments within his village?” Residents especially from the left out wards are demanding for resignation of the DG or they take the matter to court of law for arbitration.