Elgeyo Marakwet MCAs clash over appointment of finance chief officer

Elgeyo Marakwet County Assembly has approved the controversial appointment of the county finance and planning chief officer who had been rejected on claims of integrity.

The MCAs discussed the appointment at a special sitting on Tuesday and adopted a committee report clearing the nominee Jeremiah Changwony Rotich through acclamation.

A seven-member committee of MCAs investigated allegations that Mr Rotich had been suspended by Eldoret Polytechnic, where he taught, on claims of working for another organisation full-time and drawing double salary.

By the time he was nominated as a chief officer, Mr Rotich was a lecturer at Friends College, Kaimosi, where the TSC redeployed him after he served a six-month suspension.

The TSC confirmed the suspension.

After the nomination sailed through, the opposing voices said a chief officer should be beyond reproach.

Public interest

MCAs Benson Kiptire, Christopher Chemosong, and Festus Kirop said the position of  finance was a critical one that required a holder whose integrity was not in question.

“The committee has missed the point in their report because their mandate was to establish the suitability of the nominee given that the TSC has confirmed the suspension,” said Mr Kirop. “Now that you have endorsed him, those opposed to it wash our hands so that in case of any eventuality, we will say we declared our position.”

Mr Chemosong accused the Speaker of taking sides on the matter, in spite of reservations from some members.

“The governor should be aware that the approval of the nominee would attract legal action any time on grounds of integrity,” warned Mr Kiptire.

He added: “There comes a time when the interest of the public comes first than the tyranny of numbers or nepotism that the Assembly banked on.”