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Assembly rejects Kidero’s finance nominee

Governor Evans Kidero’s choice for county Finance chief has been rejected.

Caroline Mawathe was ruled out by the county’s Budget and Appropriation Committee — and its decision has been upheld by the Assembly.

It supported the committee’s view that Ms Mawathe was not sufficiently qualified.

Now until a new chief is appointed, Mr Jimmy Kiamba will continue to act as head of Finance.

But the lack of a chief officer means the county finance office is not fully functional.

The acting head’s authority is limited to certain levels of transactions in an organisation that has a Sh25 billion budget.

Re-sat CPA papers

Ms Mawathe applied to the County Public Service Board for the job. Her name and those of two other candidates were shortlisted and their names were forwarded to the governor’s office, which sent on her name to the Budget and Appropriation Committee.

The battle to fill the plum position is now left between the other two names — former city treasurers Jacob Munge and Pius Ngugi.

Mr Munge is the Makueni head of finance while Mr Ngugi holds a similar position in Kiambu.

The committee noted that Ms Mawathe had to re-sit several Certified Public Accountants (CPA) papers at a city college nine years ago. CPA qualifications are key for finance positions.

Last Thursday, county reps accused the governor and the county Public Services Board of failing to give the city a suitable finance manager.

“The applicant was not even registered by the accountants’ professional body, Icpak,” the committee’s chairman, Michael Ogada told the Assembly.

Mr Ogada’s 19-member team also rejected Ms Mawathe because she works at “a small institution” where she is not even head of finance.

According to her documents Ms Mawathe, who graduated from Bhopal University in India in 1994, is a senior accountant with the Kenya Industrial Property Institute.

“She handles money for about 60 employees yet the County Government’s payroll has 11,000 people. This figure will go up by another 5,000 in the next five years. With her modest academic ability, she is unsuitable for this huge docket,” Mr Ogada said.

Both Jubilee and Cord coalitions rejected Ms Mawathe saying the board that forwarded her name to Dr Kidero’s office had “other better options.”

The committee also said Ms Mawathe was unassertive when it interviewed her on October 17.

Her rejection came as a surprise to the governor’s office after it summoned Mr Ogada over the matter.

“Yes I was summoned but our position did no change. She was the wrong candidate for the job,” said Mr Ogada.