Governor Fernandes Barasa Hailed After Moving His Chief Officers

By Andanje Wakhungu

A recent reshuffle at the County Government of Kakamega that saw Chief Officers moving to new workstations has created some hullabaloo from quarters within the county. The move by Governor Fernandes Barasa to move his officers was meant to streamline the affected departments for effective service delivery, his supporters say.

Kabras leaders drawn mainly from ODM hailed the changes pointing out that the governor was only ensuring that his cabinet was effective. Speaking in Malava, the leaders rubbished unsubstantiated reports appearing on one of the blogs which stated that the reshuffle targeted an individual Chief Officer over her private life, they added that the author was a hired gun on a mission.

Leah Khasandi (right) Principal Samitsi Girls School Gladys Mudaki (in yellow) Malava MP Malulu Injendi (centre) and Marygoret Kalenda Girls School Iris Ngaywa (left)

“What we are aware of is that reshuffles are normal both at county and national governments and are only meant to better the working conditions of the affected departments and we are wondering why there is so much lies and malice on just one individual and yet it was four female chief officers who swapped positions, and it was done in accordance with the law, let us stop stooping low to taint the image of our leaders for personal gains”.

They added that the reshuffle in a real sense was of great benefit to Leah Khasandi who was moved as chief officer’s education to the Department of Social Service she hails from Malava Sub County. It is worth noting that Khasandi who has been a high school deputy principal and a unionist with the Kenya Union of Post-primary Education of Teachers (KUPPET) where she represented the women, the reshuffle could have been timely in tandem with her position held at the union.

Being a unionist has exposed her to criticism. The ODM stalwarts hailed her move and confirmed that she was such a firebrand lady who is not afraid to speak her mind and stand her ground when the need arises and pointed fingers at her political rivalry with a section of disgruntled leaders who are bitter with her appointment as chief officer, they were the ones politicizing the reshuffle.

Khasandi was Chief Officer of Education, Science and Technology but has since swapped positions and moved to Social Services, Children’s Gender and Culture with Vivian Asiachi taking over from her.   Others are Jessica Wesonga who moves from Water and Sanitation to Fisheries formerly held by Mirriam Were who now heads the Water sector, they wondered why her reshuffle was the only one being politicized and yet she was still a Chief Officer working for the county government of Kakamega.

We strongly condemn the sentiments that are full of lies and propaganda being peddled by angry and frustrated leaders who feel left out by the county government against their expectations. What we know is that Khasandi’s appointment was on merit and her professionalism, has nothing to do with favours. We want to thank the governor for giving us a chance to serve the people and assure him that we will do our best to see to it that service delivery comes first” Appointments, reshuffles and dismissals from County executive offices are powers given to the governor by the constitution of Kenya, 2010 and the County government act.

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