Machakos governor Alfred Mutua’s retouch of his cabinet has sent shockwaves across his county executives and chief officers. In a surprise move that caught many of his top guys offguard, the governor fired one chief officer, suspended a number of chief officers and county executives and gave warning letters to some of his hitherto trusted executives.
In his press release shared widely in media circles, Mutua alleged cases where top county executives engage in corruption, fail to attend to their mandate and failing to supervise ongoing projects causing delay in completion of projects. However the underlying factor is that he is in talks with Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka to hire Kalonzo’s allies as part of their political deal.
Those suspended for two to three months are Francis Mwaka, CEC for trade and innovation, James Mutunga, chief officer in charge of forensics and inspectorate, Paul Mwova, chief officer medical services, Kimeu Kimeu CEC for public service and ICT, and Carlos Kioko, chief officer for youth and sports. The suspended officers were ordered to return their official cars and will remain on half pay. The governor according to close sources is done with the officers and was only laying ground for their imminent dismissal in a major reshuffle scheduled in three months’ time.
In cracking the whip the governor went ahead to discipline those close to him but have fallen out with his chief of staff Mwengi Mutuse. Mwengi allies turned foes got warning letters as the chief of staff flexed his muscles by sending a signal that he is still calling shots in the county. Those who got warning letters include Titus Kavila, CEC in charge of decentralised units, Urbanus Musyoka, CEC agriculture and food security, and Emannuel Kata chief officer ICT.
The governor went ahead and sacked Michael Maina the chief officer special programmes and rewarded heavily Mwengi’s close allies and sycompants. Those close to Mwengi include Ruth Mutua who will now act in the trade docket, Grace Munguti the county secretary who will act in public service docket and Patrick Kibaya who now heads to the graft-prone lands docket as chief officer.
Those following Machakos county politics say Mutua is trying to shape his succession come 2022 and that the looming reshuffle ahead is meant to accommodate Kalonzo allies at time now they have temporarily buried the hatchet. Mutua in his scheme wants to bring Kalonzo people on board as a way of negotiating his political future. In his mathematics, Mutua who is lobbying for a regional government if the BBI creates such wants to get the backing of Kalonzo to win the lower eastern support and occupy the post.
The governor has also set eyes on the Mwala parliamentary seat if the regional proposal does not sail through and later negotiate for a cabinet post. On his side his chief of staff Mwengi has set his eyes on Kibwezi West MP’s seat and is banking on the support of Kalonzo to win the seat. He is said to be pushing the governor to accommodate Kalonzo people in his government and hence the need to weed out his allies to create space for Kalonzo. For over seven years, Mutua has waged war against Kalonzo hurling all sorts of insults but it seems he knows Kalonzo all too well as to know what button to press at what time.
It is against this that Kalonzo’s supporters are watching the developments with a resigned air of disbelief. Having sympathised with Kalonzo in his battles against Mutua, Kalonzo supporters say if Mutua gets what he wants in the new dispensation and then starts fighting Kalonzo as he will surely do, they will side with Mutua because it seems Kalonzo enjoys being betrayed