- Former acting chairman, Kasoa Picked As New Boss
By Adieri Mulaa
Nairobi county assembly has approved the nomination of Thomas Mweu Kasoa as the new chairman of the county public service board.
A special sitting of the Assembly also approved three other nominees to the Board to make it fully constituted and functional, following nominations made by Governor Ann Kananu.
Among the nominees is the Board secretary and two members. A special sitting on 22 June, 2022 presided over by Speaker Benson Mutura passed a report of the Sectoral Committee on Labour and Social Welfare.
The House committee approved all the four nominees whose names were forwarded to the Assembly by Governor Kananu. The Assembly has given the governor a nod to appoint all the nominees.
The Labour committee report was tabled by the Deputy Leader of Majority Peter Wanyoike. He moved a Motion that was debated and passed by Members of the Second Assembly, which has since adjourned sine die ahead of the August 9 General Election.
It sailed through despite encountering strong headwinds by MCAs who sought to know the names of some of the nominees, besides that of the Board chairman, Mr Thomas Mweu Kasoa.
They claimed the names may have been sneaked into the report because they were not contained in the initial communication they received.
Makongeni Ward MCA Peter Imwatok seconded the Motion sparking off opposition by a handful of MCAs including Kennedy Oyugi (Nyayo Highrise Ward), Mary Mwami (nominated) and Kennedy Obuya (Imara Daima), who were determined to derail it.
“Mr Speaker, I believe this county needs stability which can only come when we have institutions that are guided by people who are substantially in office”, Imwatok said.
Mr Kasoa is a former MCA. He was a Member of the first Machakos County Assembly where he also served in the House labour committee and so he understands the task before him, he explained.
Imwatok who is also the Minority Whip noted that it was uncouth for Nairobi City County Public Service Board to have been operated like a kitchen for more than a year.
Mr Oyugi opposed the Motion on grounds that some names had been sneaked into the Labour committee report. His remarks earned him the wrath of Speaker Mutura who threatened to sanction him but the member remained defiant.
“Honourable Oyugi, I am going to rule you out of order because you cannot challenge the chair”, the Speaker warned.
In quick response however Oyugi said: “Mr Speaker, you would rather rule me out of order but my voice has to be heard. If this is the case, then I oppose”.
He submitted that the communication from the Office of the Speaker only mentioned the chairman of the county public service board. But the Speaker notified the member that a supplementary order of business had been introduced in the plenary.
Even though, Oyugi insisted to know at what point the other names got into the order of business for the day, considering that it was a special sitting where only specific business was to be discussed.
“I support Mr Kasoa as the chairman of the Board but I vehemently oppose this monkey business of sneaking in things that are not in the Order Paper”, he stated emphatically drawing the Speaker’s wrath once more.
“Hon Oyugi, you have to address the House with decorum. There is no monkey business here and we don’t know where it is being transacted”, Speaker Mutura remarked.
Oyugi had interjected apparently to block the Motion from being seconded but his attempt was thwarted by the Speaker.
Mutura clarified that there was nothing fishy about communication from the governor, only that he had made a mistake while reading it. He explained that the communication was about the chairperson, secretary and the Board members.
Mary Mwami said the Assembly needed to know the names of other Board members besides the chairman, to debate and establish their personalities and characters.
In his contribution, Kariobangi South MCA Robert Mbatia noted that the previous Board was not properly constituted to carry out its mandate because several members had left.
The work of the new Board, he said, was cut out, especially on promotion of the county employees.
Jared Akama of Mugumu-ini Ward described Kasoa as a person of good repute with experience and spirit required of an individual well placed to lead the county public service board.
It was during his stint acting chairman of the Board when employees of Nairobi City County in various cadres began to receive promotions that had been pending for many years, said Akama, a member of the House Labour committee.
The Assembly heard from Rose Ogonda, the MCA for Kware Ward that the Board had existed like a skeleton without a substantive chairman, vice chairman, secretary and requisite number of members.
It was rendered ineffective and improperly constituted to execute its mandate after some key Board members left unceremoniously to join the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) about two years ago.
Clarence Munga of Kabiro Ward said he supported Mr Kasoa’s nomination based on his track record. Munga explained that the new chairman had demonstrated good performance when he serviced as vice chairman and acting chairman of the Board.
In his replying remarks, Wanyoike who represents Dandora Area 1 Ward told the House a full Board comprised of seven members to be well constituted.
He allayed fears raised by Waithaka MCA Anthony Kiragu, that the new nominees could surpass the provided threshold.
The new nominees are chairman, secretary and two Board members.