Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi has fallen out with his county secretary, Arnold Mkare, but instead of showing him the door, the governor decided to sideline him in county operations with the hope that he will feel frustrated and resign.
Sources claim that the governor is unhappy with the manner in which Mkare has handled issues of corruption among county staff in the past. Early this year, Mkare directed chief officers to hand over some confidential documents to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission investigators, without the permission of the governor, something that has caused the political tension between the duo. The chief officers who failed to comply were later arrested and are in the process of being taken to court for concealing information when a senior EACC official in Nairobi reportedly intervened and got them released under unclear circumstances.
Since then, Mkare has become a deserted man and is no longer being involved in crucial administrative decisions by the governor and his close allies. Junior officers are also ignoring his advice, it is claimed. The besieged county secretary had hoped to run away from frustrations in the county by being appointed Kenya Ports Authority managing director through the influence of former Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe, but the recruitment process has since stalled.
Other sources claim Kingi is hesitant to sack Mkare since he is said to know “too much”. The CS is a close friend of a top prosecutor with whom he frequently meets in Malindi, and it is feared he could spill the beans on entrenched corrupt deals in Kilifi county government if provoked and pushed onto the wall. Frustrated and unhappy, Mkare is said to be focusing on how to win the Kilifi North parliamentary seat in 2022 to become an MP.
The seat is held by Owen Baya. But critics say that it will be a tall order and an uphill task for Mkare to win the seat due to his modus operandi and his style of handling citizens. Apart from claims that he is stingy, he rarely picks calls and that most of the time, his phones are switched off.