By Daniel Juma Omondi
Thanks to the just ended Senate Impeachment proceedings against Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Kenyans got an opportunity to see how technical staffs who are negligent in their administrative work can lead to loss of public money and serious administrative rot in counties and other public or private institutions.
The Kirinyaga case is obvious just a tip of the iceberg. There are obviously other counties with worse administrative lapses and active corruption cases being investigated by the EACC or others already in court like Samburu, Busia, Nairobi and others.
The hearing revealed a lot of loopholes in governance on the procedural operations of the counties from hiring, procurement, financial management, transparency and adherence to public participation.
Hired staff either do not understand or have elected to ignore their roles on checks and balances especially on procurement and tendering, which has perennially opened doors for corruption. Further investigations will reveal a similar problem in the management of the NG-CDF where procurement loopholes are exploited to benefit members of parliament who are still patrons of the NG-CDF and their cronies.
Although the administrative lapses may not meet the impeachment threshold as I had predicted before, I must commend the Kirinyaga MCAS for being vigilant. It’s this vigilance which is missing from MCAS in other counties such as Siaya who think that the Governor is their employer and not the people.
However the MCAs have made a point with regards to lack of proper adherence to fiscal, tendering & procedures & the Senate and other oversight agencies such as the DCI, DPP and the EACC need to play their county oversight role more vigorously. MCAS must wake up to the reality that oversight in the counties is their primary responsibility. They must protect every single cent that belong to the people.
That said and done Governor Waiguru should hire more accountable financial and procurement professionals and ensure that her executive staff to exercise more transparency when it comes to fiscal matters.
One of the most important lessons I have learnt as a CEO of an organisation is to desist from micromanaging fiscal matters and leave that to professionals. This gives you as the CEO the leeway to provide oversight and delegate culpability for any administrative lapses that may occur. CEOS as the heads of their organisation should provide visionary leadership to steer their organisation to achieve corporate goals.
Governor Waiguru if she survives impeachment should also forge a better working professional relationship with the MCAs and support the
m in their representation and oversight role. However she should avoid the route taken by other Governors who bribe MCAS through expensive unnecessary benchmarking trips locally and abroad.
In the spirit of Separation of Powers, Governors should perform their Executive functions diligently and let the MCAS perform their oversight roles without fear or favour.
Finally after this hearing the Senate should be more vigilant and exercise more oversight in how counties conduct their affairs. Lastly lawyer Ndegwa Njiru for Kirinyaga MCAS gives me hope that the quest for accountability is still alive in Kenya and that all is not lost after all.
The writer is the Executive Director of the Global Peace Foundation in Kenya