Mutahi Kahiga to be sworn in Monday as Nyeri governor
Nyeri Deputy Governor Mutahi Kahiga will be sworn in as governor on Monday after a series of contradicting statements that have created confusion over his assumption of office.
On Wednesday, the county spokesperson had announced that the Mr Kahiga would be sworn in on Thursday but retracted that statement saying the swearing in had been postponed.
Mr Kahiga later said that he will take oath office after Dr Wahome Gakuru’s burial insisting that there is no vacuum.
Dr Gakuru died in a grisly road crash at Kabati in Murang’a.
On Friday Mr Kahiga announced his change of heart saying his decision to be sworn into office was informed by legal obligations.
“After a lot of consultation and pressure I have decided to take oath of office because there are issues that legally need to be dealt with so that nothing we do will be considered illegal,” he said.
He also dismissed claims that there were external forces interfering with his assumption of office.
“I need to correct this image that has been created that we were under pressure not to be sworn in. I had made a personal decision to give my brother a decent send-off then we can do the rest later,” he said.
Mr Kahiga was meeting county leaders at Green Hills Hotel to make arrangements for Dr Gakuru’s burial which will be on November 18.
He said that a requiem mass for Dr Gakuru will be held at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology.
On Saturday, the county organising committee will meet with governors from the region including Kirinyaga’s Anne Waiguru, Mr Mwangi Wa Iria of Murang’a and Ferdinand Waititu of Kiambu.
The announcement on the new date of the swearing in comes a day after a teachers’ union officials in the county demanded Mr Kahiga’s immediate swearing in.
In a press conference Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) officials led by their Executive Secretary Zachary Mathenge said that there was a vacuum in the county.
“We are demanding that Mr Mutahi be sworn in as a matter of urgency. We are not celebrating the death of Dr Gakuru but we want the law followed to the letter,” he said.
But a section of Nyeri residents accused the Knut officials of being insensitive.
“They should not be in a hurry because as residents we are not in a hurry. They should give the deputy time to come to terms with the loss,” said Francis Kiama, a taxi driver in Nyeri Town.
Mr Kiama argued that the Constitution, which has stipulated that the deputy governor assumes office as governor, will not change overnight.
Some traders in the town, oblivious of the provisions of the law, also argued that holding the ceremony after the burial would not cause harm to the county or its residents.