Embroiled in a heated tussle threatening to grind the region to a halt, Kiambu County is faced with a legal and political puzzle that could boil over should prompt mitigations delay.
At the heart of the controversy is the Kiambu deputy governor James Nyoro who took the reigns after his boss, Ferdinand Waititu was barred from accessing and transacting any official business that appertains to the county.
Nyoro, a former ally-turned fierce critic of Governor Waititu is widely seen by a section of the county executive as an opportunist and a power-hungry man who would stop at nothing to achieve his ends.
Just weeks after Principal Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi ruled that Governor Waititu be barred from office, Nyoro took a section of the county’s 92 MCAs and CECs to a retreat in Mombasa where they discussed county affairs.
The meeting that was given a wide berth by Finance and Economic Planning Executive Kigo Njenga and his Youth, Sports, ICT and Communication counterpart Karung’o wa Thang’wa proceeded peacefully but evident cracks would later emerge.
Out of the picture, Governor Waititu’s fallout with his deputy Nyoro would further be exposed to the public gallery after Nyoro attempted to move CEC Kigo from the Department of Finance and Economic Planning to Trade, Tourism, Cooperative and Enterprise Development.
Kigo would seek for legal redress from the County Attorney Mr Waithaka Wanjohi, who ruled that Nyoro lacks such powers as to appoint, shuffle or dismiss members of the county executive.
With reports having it that the embattled Kiambu governor was putting up in one of the floors at the unfinished Jamii Bora bank headquarters along Koinange Street, this spot has become the centre where key county decisions are brokered.
August 2018, Nairobi County officials arrested Waititu’s wife, Susan Wangare after she was accused of putting up an 8-storey building in the CBD without proper approvals from the National Construction Authority.
The building has come under sharp scrutiny after it emerged as Waititu’s new-found headquarters from where he stamps his authority on matters county affairs. While the building is complete from the outside, finishing is still ongoing in some of the floors.
Nyoro has come out to state that Waititu is trying to sabotage his administration using a section of the members of the executive.
Last week, Deputy Governor Nyoro withdrew two official vehicles belonging to Roads, Transport, Public Works and Energy executive Juliet Kimemia and Finance and Planning CEC Mr Kigo Njenga ostensibly for using county resources to engage in politics.
“My official car was withdrawn this morning (Friday). (Mr) Nyoro is trying to humiliate me because he views me as a political threat and thinks I will vie for the governor’s seat in 2022. What he is doing is illegal,” Mr Njenga told journalists.
Nyoro maintained Governor Waititu had planted rebellion at the heart of the county to sabotage him, justifying the move. He would also reassign the CEC’s official drivers elsewhere.
Moments after the humiliation, Youth Affairs CEC Karungo Thangwa offerred to house the members of the executive in his car, saying Nyoro lacked powers to carry out executive orders.
“Such powers are only reserved for the governor. (Mr) Nyoro is only a ceremonial deputy governor,” he told reporters.
The courts ordered that Governor Waititu could only get back to the county after his case on corruption has been heard and determined.
The governor is accused of irregularly awarding a Ksh588 million tender to MS Testimony Enterprises, which is said to have deposited kick-backs in his bank account.