Machakos county chief-of-staff Mwengi Mutuse in cahoots with a section of county executives and chief officers have reportedly hatched a plot to frustrate the development agenda of Governor Alfred Mutua. Sources say the recent mini reshuffle in Mutua’s
cabinet, where he made changes, was highly manipulated by his chief-of-staff to favour him for selfish ends and align his agenda of looting Machakos county. With Mutua now regarded as a lame-duck governor who has let loose Mwengi terrorize his cabinet, a section of county executives and chief officers are living in mortal fear of Mwengi who has perfected the art of intimidating county executives and chief officers to part with millions of shillings siphoned from departmental budgets. The chief-of-staff has declared his interest in the Kibwezi parliamentary seat held by Patrick Musimba. What is shocking people is that money meant for service delivery has been diverted to finance his political ambitions in Makueni county where he comes from. Mutua’s cabinet is split with those fully behind the governor and those who refer Mwengias the de facto governor and who pledge loyalty to him. Senior county officials fall prey on the fact that Mwengi has blocked anybody in having the governor’s ear to have his way in controlling happenings at departments with big budgets. Sources close to the governor’s inner circle indicate that Mwengi is awarded tenders and eventually get paid depending on the kickbacks one offers directly to him. County executives who fail to play ball are either demoted to less lucrative ministries or given warning letters, all moves executed by Mwengi himself. In order to execute his ill motives of milking the county coffers dry, the recent reshuffle saw his cronies either retain or land to lucrative ministries. The ministries where he has set eyes on as he seeks to fundraise for his campaigns include health, roads, agriculture and lands, and urban development. At health, he has his man, Ancent Kituku, who is overseen to rot at the health department. Questions still linger how the county executive facilitated him to acquire face masks meant for Machakospeople which ended up inKibwezi West. The matter of masks and food donations allegedly diverted to Kibwezi is now subject to investigations by EACC sleuths. At the lands department, Mwengi has placed his girlfriend, EverlyneKavuu, where she is calling shots. She is now considered his second wife whom she is building a home in Mua. The lady county CEC is known to be incompetent for she is said to have been picked by Mwengi himself from the directorate of county image where she was planting flowers and made a minister. The department has whoppingSh2 billion World Bank money meant for urban development and upgrading of major towns and municipalities across the county. It is at this department where millions of shillings are looted by Mwengi in cahoots with rogue contractors out to fleece the county. In the ministry of agriculture, where the minister is his right-hand man and great confidant, recently the county assembly questioned an expenditure of Sh65 million that is alleged to have ended in Mwengi’s pockets for use in his campaigns. The ministry is headed by one Urbanus Musyoka. Another department targeted for looting is the roads department which has also a huge budget. During the recent reshuffle, he ensured that he got correct people to occupy the department. Naomi Mutie replaced Thomas Aluanga who had fallen out with Mwengi. Aluanga was transferred to the water department. Some chief officers who had parted with huge cash to land key ministries are now cursing Mwengi for duping them. One complained to this writer that he had given out large sums of money to Mwengi but did not get anything in return. Another county executive complained that Mwengi was allegedly leading an extortion cartel that was fundraising to finish the Governor’s Hotel in Machakos. The A and L hotel along Machakos-Makutano road was opened last month and is owned by the governor but it is alleged county executives and suppliers contributed to its completion through Mwengi. The split in Mutua cabinet has also seen Mwengi fall out with deputy governor FrancisMaliti.