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Vihiga Administrators to undergo paramilitary training

20 January 2014, 13:03 Dareel Eric

Vihiga - Sub-County and ward administrators in Vihiga County, who were recently appointed to office by the area governor Moses Akaranga, will be taken for a three week course in paramilitary training at Embakasi, Nairobi.

The training will enable them to gel well with their counterparts from the national government as they take up their new responsibilities in their areas of jurisdiction.

Speaking while closing their induction course at a hotel in Chavakali, the County executive member in charge of Public Service and Administration, Johnstone Khejeri, said that the training was necessary so that the administrators will be ready to take up the new challenge of administering devolution at the lowest level possible.

“In order for us to avert cases of fighting among officers from the national government and the County government, we have organised for our administrators a three-week training in paramilitary. As pioneers, they should remain an example to the many others who will take over their offices in the future,” Khejeri said.

He dispelled fears that the new administrators were a threat to the other officials already on the ground like the chiefs and their counterparts, noting that both were government officials.

“The officers, attached to the national government and the County government are both tasked with carrying out different duties while on the ground. They must therefore seek for ways of fostering cohesion amongst the people at all levels,” he said.

Khejeri said that the County government did not expect any in-fighting between the two levels of leadership as the constitution clearly spelt their different roles.

“We don’t want the relationship between the County and national government to be brought into crisis by people who do not understand administration. That is why the training at Embakasi is indispensable,” he said.  

Five sub-County administrators and their deputies and 25 ward administrators were recently appointed to office by the governor.

Meanwhile, Vihiga County Commissioner Boaz Cherotich has asked the county governments to give officers attached to the national government the support required while on the ground and clearly outline roles for the new administrators attached to them.   

“We cannot do away with the chiefs and their assistants at the grassroots level because they are very indispensable to governance. The county governments should thus come in with speed and prepare detailed documents clearly stating roles of their employees on the ground,” said Cherotich.    

Akaranga reiterated this by saying that services provided by the chiefs at the grassroots level were crucial, adding that he had instructed County administrators to work in harmony with their national counterparts.

“I am not pushing for the removal of chiefs and their assistants. I recognize the roles they play at the village level and I want them to work closely with sub-County and wards administrators recently appointed as both are government employees,” said Akaranga.

He noted that reports that he was agitating for the removal of chiefs and their assistants were false and aimed at soiling the good relationship that existed between the national government and County government.

Akaranga noted that he acknowledged the support he was getting from County Commissioner, Boaz Cherotich, and that he would like to see the same being reciprocated by the chiefs and the sub-County and ward administrators at the grassroots level.

He noted that he had discussed with Cherotich and drafted job description for the sub-County and ward administration with the aim of having them work in harmony with local administrators.

“We have drawn a line for the sub-County and wards administrators and the chiefs and their assistants and there is no cause of alarm,” he added.

He added that Vihiga is one of the counties where there is cordial working relationship between the office of the Governor and that of County Commissioner, attributing it to sobriety of the commissioner.

The governor told the chiefs and their assistants not to panic adding that their jobs were intact.

Akaranga pointed out that both chiefs and the county officers were representing various levels of government at the grassroots level and urged them to work together to address the citizens’ needs.

He pointed out that sub-County and ward administrators needed help from the chiefs and their assistants for them to jell well with the community they are supposed to serve.

He reiterated that the County officers should not engage in politics adding that that would be the beginning of conflict in their regions.

“County administrators have not been dispatched to their areas of work to undermine elected leaders or officers from the national government. They should execute County policies for us to achieve our goals,” he explained.

He warned that any sub-County or ward administrator who would not adhere to his job description would be disciplined.

Akaranga appealed to chiefs and their assistants to provide assistance to the new County administrators and urged them not to view them as their rivals.

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