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Kihika Unpopularity: Revenue Collection In Nakuru Drop By Sh2B

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Things are not flowing for the residence of Nakuru and an evidence of poor management by Governor Susan Kihika who succeeded well performing Lee Kinyanjui.

The Senate has put on notice Nakuru County government over the deteriorating revenue collection that has dropped by a whopping Ksh 2 billion.

The Senate said that it would be investigating the drop from Ksh 3.6 billion to Ksh 1.6 billion since the new government came into power amid reports of graft and misuse of public funds.

This came as Senators warned that failure by the executive in the county to respect court orders in regard to the on-going War Memorial Hospital saga was a recipe for chaos. In this saga, governor Kihika and her government have discarded the law on many fonts and harassed the investors including defying court orders and using goons to harass the owners of the hospital.

This emerged when the Senate Liaison Committee that brings together all chairmen of various committees converged in Sawela Lodge in Naivasha for a two day retreat.

According to the Chair of the Committee Mohammed Chute, the drop in revenue collection in the county was alarming and needed further investigations.

The Marsabit Senator said that the Senate would do its oversight role establishing how the revenue collection dropped in a span of one year.

“We are deeply concerned by the sharp drop in revenue collection in Nakuru and we shall definitely do our role of oversight by establishing where the problem is,” he said.

Chute revisited the saga around War Memorial Hospital noting that failure by the county to obey court orders was setting a bad precedent.

He accused the County Assembly of going to bed with the Executive and failing in its oversight mandate leading to the current crisis.

“If we had ten other counties that decided to ignore court orders, this country could go the Somali way and it’s time we nipped this at the bud,” he said.

This was echoed by the Deputy majority leader in the Senate Tabitha Keroche who called for a review on how the revenue collection had dropped in a short period.

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The Nakuru Senator trained her guns on the county assembly noting that it had failed in its duty of oversight leading to the current crisis in the county.

“Am petitioning the Senate to move with haste and investigate how revenue collection dropped from Ksh 3.6B to Ksh 1.6B as our MCAs have gone to bed with the Executive,” she said.

On the hospital saga, she said that over 50 patients whose medical cover was under the facility were stranded with nowhere to go.

She termed the on-going occupation of the hospital by the county against a court order as inhumane and illegal while calling on the Senate committees on land and health to intervene.

“The only hope for residents of Nakuru and tens of dialysis patients lies with the Senate as the executive and police have refused to abide by court orders,” she said.

Keroche, who has been vocal on the issue, noted that the protracted dispute was causing families and patients’ untold suffering and eroding investors’ confidence.

“The raid and continued ignorance of court orders has caused fear and anxiety among investors who are fleeing the county in hordes,” she said.

Keroche has called for the impeachment of governor Kihika.

On the workshop, Bomet Senator Hillary Sigei said that there were many bills pending in the Senate adding that all was set as the House resumed its sittings.

“This is going to be one of the busiest sessions for Senators and we should plan and set our targets so that we can deal with bills on our tables,” he said.

Kihika unpopularity

A section of UDA leaders, elected and former, from the region have coalesced to form a political outfit called the ‘G7’ opposed to Governor Kihika’s leadership style, as they announced a fall out with the county boss.

At the centre of the storm are wrangles between the governor and the MPs over alleged sidelining of their regions in her administration, as well as differences over claims that the county boss was grooming her picks to unseat them.

The rift between Governor Kihika and the local leaders became more prominent, over the weekend when a section of the MPs opposed to her style of leadership unveiled the new political outfit – ‘G7’.

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The MPs who spoke during a political meeting in Rongai sub-County, on Saturday, revealed that they have parted ways with Ms Kihika, because of her leadership style.

“After the 2022 polls, we thought Governor Susan Kihika would unite all of us to deliver to the people of Nakuru. But she has done the opposite. She has been moving round the county abusing and demeaning elected leaders and sowing seeds of discord,” said Kuresoi North MP Alfred Mutai.

“We have now lost hope in her. Nakuru County now does not have a driver. The one at the helm can easily take us to a ditch,” he added.

At the meeting Mr Mutai was accompanied by Paul Chebor (MP Rongai), Joseph Tonui (MP Kuresoi South), former Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri and a host of current and former local leaders, who have been at the forefront criticising Ms Kihika’s leadership style.

But it is the vocal ex-Bahati MP who has triggered a storm.

The ex-lawmaker has warned that Ms Kihika’s leadership style risks destroying the reputation of the UDA party.

“With Governor Susan Kihika’s style of leadership, UDA will not be heard again in Nakuru. It will be dead and buried. How do you expect us to use UDA as a the political party of choice to seek election in 2027, with this kind of leadership?” posed Mr Ngunjiri.

“The Governor has turned the UDA into a personal property and this risks killing the party in Nakuru County. She doesn’t respect any leader and is always sowing seeds of discord,” added Mr Ngunjiri.

Interestingly, majority of the UDA elected MPs in Nakuru are not in a cordial relationship with Ms Kihika,who was also elected on the President Dr William Ruto-led party ticket.

Only Kuria Kimani (MP Molo) and Samuel Gachobe (MP Subukia) are currently in good terms with Governor Kihika.

Nakuru West MP Samuel Arama and his Bahati counterpart Irene Njoki, both who were elected on a Jubilee Party ticket are also currently in good terms with Governor Kihika.

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Woman Representative Liz Chelule and Charity Kathambi (MP Njoro) though not vocal on their criticism of Governor Kihika have been cautious about the fallout.

Most of the leaders who have differed with Ms Kihika are from the Kalenjin community – the second populous group in Nakuru County.

The leaders have in the past months accused Governor Kihika of sidelining the community in appointments to her administration.

For instance, Rongai MP Paul Chebor, who was the first to part ways with Ms Kihika, has previously criticised her for giving the Kalenjin community a raw deal in her appointments of key officers in her administration.

Then there are those who feel Ms Kihika is grooming her picks, some members of her cabinet, to unseat some MPs in the 2027 polls including Jayne Kihara (Naivasha), Martha Wangari (Gilgil) and David Gikaria (Nakuru East).

Senator Tabitha Karanja Keroche has also fallen out with Governor Kihika.

Political pundits now warn that the political differences between Ms Kihika and the MPs may jeopardize development in various parts of the county.

Ms Kihika won the hearts of thousands of voters in the 2022 General Election, who overwhelmingly voted her, successfully ousting former county chief Lee Kinyanjui.

She garnered 440,707 votes against Mr Kinyanjui’s 225,623, becoming the third Governor of Nakuru and the first woman county boss in the devolved unit.

At the time she was in good books, with majority of the 11 Members of Parliament, in the region.

Fast-forward 2024, slightly over a year after she took over office, Governor Kihika is facing a major political storm.

The vocal county boss, who started off as Nakuru County Assembly Speaker, before she rose to become Governor, is now entangled in a web of political wrangles with local Members of Parliament.


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