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County Assembly Charges Wambora’s Deputy with Contempt

 The County Assembly of Embu has resolved to charge the Deputy Governor David Kariuki who is also the County Executive Committee (CEC) Member for Health with contempt of legislative resolutions and violation of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.

Embu Deputy Governor who doubles as CEC Health David Kariuki has been charged by the Josiah Thiriku-led Assembly with contempt of legislative resolutions and violation of Kenyan constitution.Photo/MWINGI TIMES CORRESPONDENT

According to article 195 of the Constitution of Kenya, a County Assembly or any of its committees has power to summon any person to appear before it for the purpose of giving evidence or providing information.

The Constitution further dictates that an Assembly has the same powers as the High Court to: enforce the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath, affirmation or otherwise, compel the production of documents and issue a commission or request to examine witnesses abroad.

The Deputy Governor was accused of refusal to honour summonses and failure to implement County Assembly resolutions in the recommended timeframes. The matter has been referred to the Committee on General Oversight.

The County Assembly Committee on Implementation made the resolution upon scrutinising the evidence provided by the CEC Member for Health, the CECM Finance and Economic Planning and the Embu Level 5 Hospital management on the matters raised in the report of the Committee on Health on the Status of the Oxygen Generating Plants in the Embu Level 5 Hospital.

The County Assembly, in its sitting of November 27, 2018 adopted a report by the Committee on Health on the status of Oxygen Plants at the Embu Level 5 Hospital. The Executive was required under Standing Order Number 195 to provide regular reports on implementation of the Assembly's resolutions within sixty days of adoption.

Report not submitted

The report on the Status of oxygen generating plants at the Embu Level 5 Hospital was due on February 5 2019 but was not submitted. The Committee on Implementation, chaired by Nominated MCA JaneAnn Murithi sought to determine the extent of implementation of the resolutions contained in the report of the Committee on Health on the Status of the Oxygen Generating Plants.

The CEC Member for Health was invited for a meeting on April 11, 2019 but he appeared without a written submission and the responses offered were declared vague and could not be authenticated. The County Assembly committee therefore took the CEC Member as uncooperative and considered naming him as a hostile witness.

The Committee also observed that the servicing of the old Oxygen Plant was done at a cost of KSh 2 million but the County Assembly timelines were not adhered to. The funds allocated in the budget estimates were not adequate for the repair and maintenance of the plants and other medical equipment.

The CEC Member and the Chief Officer Health were tasked to ensure that the KSh 86 million new oxygen generating plant was installed, but a spot check established that the process of piping to all the departments was incomplete.

In addition, the duo confirmed that the old oxygen plant was not relocated to a Level Four Hospital as recommended by the County Assembly.

A budgetary allocation of KSh 6 million for maintenance of medical equipment was provided in the 2018/2019 Financial Year, but the Embu Level 5 Hospital required an annual addition of KSh 5 million for C.T. Scan maintenance KSh 360,000 to maintain lifts, Incinerator KSh 800,000, Laundry Equipment KSh 150,000, Theatre equipment KSh 520,000, Mortuary and Kitchen equipment KSh 400,000, Generators KSh 400,000, Laboratory Equipment KSh 600,000, Oxygen plant KSh 450,000 and Radiology equipment KSh 1,500,000.

The Implementation Committee has therefore prepared the report fully aware that the provisions of Article 183(3) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 have been violated. This has been compounded by failure of the County Executive to provide Annual Performance Reports as required by Section 47 of the County Governments Act, 2012.


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