Barely eight months after Kiambu governor James Nyoro assumed office following the impeachment of Ferdinand Waititu, the county chief is now facing the same predicament after falling out with MCAs who were instrumental in his ascend to office.
To compound matters for the governor, he has also fallen out with most of the MCAs who had celebrated his elevation. To make matters worse, some of the governor’s critics have begun questioning his mental status, claiming his actions portray him as insane. Questions on Nyoro’s beliefs have also started propping up, with his critics claiming he is a member of a secretive movement and that explains his strange habits. Nyoro’s alleged membership to the sect was first brought to the public limelight in 2013 general election campaigns when his rival for the seat, then former Juja legislator William Kabogo, accused him during a television interview of being a member of the secretive sect.
Kabogo, who went ahead to clinch the seat, claimed Nyoro was a member of the secretive Illuminati stating Rockefeller, where he initially worked, was known to be associated with the cult. Those who know however say that the Illuminati is actually an organisation that is only concerned with illuminating the world as the name suggests and that is was started in ancient days to bring light to the dark meaning to make people understand by educating themselves to the very nadir of knowledge. It is for this reason that it still today attracts only the most highly educated people in society who are also the most well off economically and as usual with the poor who when they see one of their own become wealthy, they find a way of explaining their own inability to beat poverty by saying that the one who has become rich is using majini.
As for devil worshipper, they explain, anyone who goes against God’s 10 commandments makes the devil happy and in essence becomes a devil worshipper. Nyoro in his defence said just because he was Rockefeller’s local boss did not mean he was a devil worshipper, adding he was once a deacon at Nairobi Pentecostal Church and has been a born-again Christian for 18 years. Still, Nyoro is facing a fresh onslaught from MCAs and MPs, who accuse him of theft, ineptitude and being a dictator. Three weeks ago, two MPs took him head-on when they petitioned the county government to come clean on the loss of Sh5 billion revenue.
Thika Town MP Patrick Wainaina who is eyeing the gubernatorial seat in 2022, joined woman representative Gathoni Wamuchomba in demanding Nyoro explains how the money collected from the residents was lost. They were reacting to reports by the county assembly committee on finance and economic planning led by Kinoo ward rep Samuel Kimani on the loss of the funds. The report stated that out of the total revenue the county collects, 70pc ends up in the pockets of cartels and the county can only account for 30pc. The report further cited the World Bank survey on how much counties should get in own-source revenue which stated Kiambu can collect up to Sh8 billion annually but only collects Sh2.9 billion due to poor leadership. And now the MCAs are further accusing the governor of corruption in the award of tenders.
Two weeks ago, Nyoro almost exchanged blows with Ndenderu MCA Solomon Kinuthia during a meeting the governor had convened at Sahara West Hotel in Ruaka. In the meeting were MCAs who played a critical role in Waititu’s ouster but have now turned against Nyoro led by Kinuthia who prosecuted the impeachment motion and Njeri Bakari (nominated). Apart from the misuse of funds, the MCAs are further irked by the way Nyoro is distributing relief food to needy families. Recently, they faulted the food distribution to combat the spread of coronavirus claiming Nyoro was insincere as he was issuing a lesser amount of food even after a supplementary budget of Sh130 million had been passed by the assembly coupled with other donations of over Sh150 million from wellwishers.
The critics were led by Kijabe MCA Stephen Nyutu who faulted the governor over the distribution of 200kgs of rice in every ward to vulnerable families, saying it was too little for the population. His sentiments were echoed by Kamenu ward MCA Raphael Chege who questioned the rationale of giving 200kg of rice to a ward of over 30,000 people with Karuri ward rep Peter Wainaina saying the ratio was only enough to feed 200 people. But speaking in Ruiru where he made the donations, Nyoro told off his critics urging the reps to stop politicising the food distribution exercise. Last month Nyoro again rubbed the MCAs the wrong way when he told them off over a planned impeachment of speaker Stephen Ndichu, his ally.
The bad blood between Nyoro and MCAs comes as the simmering political rivalry between him and Wainaina heightens to a boiling point. Three months ago, in a well-choreographed onslaught on the MP, Nyoro and his deputy Joyce Ngugi led a delegation of county officials to reprimand the MP in his home constituency. The delegation also brought on board Bishop David Ngari alias Gakuyo who is Nyoro’s political adviser and a Thika town MCA Andrew Kimani. They castigated the MP for allegedly abandoning his parliamentary mandate and instead taking his 2022 gubernatorial aspirations to other parts of the county. Nyoro has also been on the spot for giving Kiambu East, where Wainaina comes from, raw deal in terms of development.
He has been accused of taking the development projects in Kiambu West which is his home turf sidelining residents of Thika, Juja, Ruiru, Gatundu North and South Constituencies. Wainaina has been focal that it is Nyoro who pulled down structures he has erected in and outside his constituency to help those in the informal sector. They included free car wash centres, motorcycle shades and community-based laundry centres. They were built by Jungle Foundation charity network. But Nyoro claimed most of the structures erected by the legislator lack regulatory approvals from the county government and are meant for political mileage.