Away from its forthcoming City status, the County Government of Nakuru led by Lee Kinyanjui has been hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons.
From the employment saga by its Public service board and Naivasha sub county casual workers in the Nakuru Labour Court to the misappropriation of funds as revealed by the Auditor general and now the management saga surrounding Governor Kinyanjui’s favourite Chief Officer for lands, Housing and Physical planning JudyLeah Waihenya.
Ms Waihenya has been overstepping her mandate as per the grave accusations of illegally evicting the duly appointed director of land and physical planning Robert Kiprono.
In his place, she is said to have fraudulently appointed Justin Mayaka as the acting director to help aid her dirty deals in the department.
Mr Mokaya was named interim director contrary to section 64(2) of the County Government act that requires the appointing authority (PSB) to make such appointments.
Furthermore section 72 (2) gives only the head of public service (County Secretary) the power to transfer staff from one department to another.
“That a director is still in active duty and drawing a salary for the said position whereas the duties as relating to that post are being performed by another officer illegally appointed by Judyleah. This openly shows blatant disregard for procedures and processes meant to guide government business,” said a source privy to the details.
Ms Waihenya, the source intimated, has continued to usurp the roles of the public service board by illegally advertising for casual labourers at the departmental level which goes against Section 66 of same act that requires the publication to be widely shared through the Public Service Board.
“The continued engagement of aliens in the name of interns to work in the office of the C.O as previously witnessed in the department has gone against section 74 of the same act,” added the source.
The interns, Kahawa Tungu understands, do not take instructions from anyone other than Waihenya.
Those who dare to question the interns is allegedly demoted or rendered jobless until Waihenya decides otherwise.
“She issued letters to some members of staff accusing them of professional misconduct but not citing the exact nature of their crimes. The letters stated that the said officers were to refrain from doing any duties until they appear in front of the disciplinary committee,” this writer was told.
The disciplinary committee consists of officers under her grasp.
Waihenya is also accused of deliberately creating a staff shortage forcing the county to employ new personnel for services provided by already existing officers.
“That the county is grappling with debt and one would wonder why employment of new staff is the priority for the government. This of course implies she wants to create vacancies for her friends and lapdogs. The spirit of devolution has been dimmed through the selective use of staff and no equal opportunity given to staff under her,” added our source.
She has also allegedly ensured that staff do not go for training unless the activity is funded from other quarters. Money meant for staff training is either misappropriated or returned back to the treasury much to the detriment of people she is supposed to be leading and helping to better themselves.
The entire department relies on two physical planners, namely Justine Mayaka and Elizabeth Munyui who Kahawa Tungu understands she uses to do her dirty works yet there are over 13 qualified Physical planners in the County equal to the task but have never been posted.
Mayaka who is illegally performing the duties of the director is also in charge of all County projects and still perform duties of physical planner within Nakuru Town East and Nakuru Town West.
“How much can one person do?” poses our source.
The same is allegedly true in Naivasha and Gilgil Sub-counties where Ms Munyui is the planner and also represents Waihenya in all the technical meetings that prevent her from being in the office serving the local wananchi.
“These are areas Judyleah has heavy interests in and word is out that she will be seeking a political seat in the areas,” the source intimated.
Word also has it that Waihenya has undertaken an illegal construction in Milimani on plot no. Nakuru Municipality Block 11/92.
“As the accounting officer in charge of the approving department she was supposed to lead by example. More so, the said construction goes against what is allowed in the low density Milimani area. It is obvious she did not follow the right channels of applying for approval from the county,” said the source.
“The Milimani Welfare Association usually safeguards against such multi dwelling developments but it seems they have not caught wind of this one yet. You would wonder why they would go to great lengths to stop a person from constructing more than one maisonette in their compound yet allow that kind of development in their neighbourhood. Has the association been compromised? This only shows act of impunity that portrays Judyleah is above the law.”
Good service delivery to the citizens has been compromised for selfish gains, this writer understands.
Her friends even though unqualified for certain positions have been rewarded, as is the case for Ann Muchiri who has not attended any training but was assigned development control duties in Bahati Sub County.
“She stills hangs around Ardhi house performing duties in the office of the Chief Officer because she has no clue what her new roles are,” Kahawa Tungu was told.
Waihenya who continues to act with impunity is also said to award her close confidants lucrative contracts.
For example, the recent construction of a shade at Ardhi House was awarded to Nakuru Simba Machinery.
The rehabilitation of the Naivasha urban access roads tender worth Sh200 million and financed by World Bank was awarded to JILK construction Company despite coming in third in the bidding process.
The C.O and her cronies are said to have walked away with a good chunk of the money.
“The process of awarding and commissioning this works is shrouded in mystery. The tender committee appointed by her can only do her bidding and contracts are only issued to companies she wants. This already means that there is no fair competition even though the public is hoodwinked to believe so,” continued our source.
Waihenya is said to have aided the payment of approximately Sh22 million for supply of survey equipments to the department even before the equipments were supplied.
Some of the equipment was stolen even before the official receipt of the same.
“The way some of the donor funds for Kenya Urban Support Program (KUSP) projects have been handled is a matter of public concern.”
So dire is the situation that some motor vehicles (Reg No 32 CG 214 and 32 CG 224) purchased for the purpose of enhancing service delivery are being used for personal errands at the expense of county government employees.
One of the vehicles is assigned to drop and pick up her child from school while others operate on her say so.