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Tana River MCAs back motion to impeach Health executive

STEPHEN ODUORBy STEPHEN ODUOR
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The Tana River County Assembly on Tuesday voted to impeach Health Executive Mwanajuma Hiribae.

The motion was moved by nominated MCA Farhan Mohammed and seconded by Hirimani MCA Ishamael Kodobo during a sitting presided over by assembly Speaker Francis Nkaduda.

The ward reps accused the CEC of abuse of office, incompetence, gross financial misconduct and violation of the Constitution.

During debate on the motion, Mr Farhan said the Health docket had been dragged into very embarrassing situations during Ms Hiribae’s watch, citing an audit query in which the department overcommitted its budget by more than Sh30 million.

BUDGET OVERCOMMITTED

Mr Farhan said the decision to overcommit the budget by such a huge amount was proof of irresponsibility.

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Majority Leader Ibrahim Salah said the Health executive had proven she is unable to handle the docket which has a Sh1.3 billion budget.

“Honourable members, it is sad to bestow 23 percent of our budget to someone who cannot even formulate policies and procedures to clear pending bills in the department three years down the line,” he said.

Mr Adamo claimed that the CEC had failed to stand her ground to defend her constitutional mandate, hence betraying the oath she took while assuming office.

Minority Leader Abdi Argamso said that the last time dispensaries received drug supplies was in December last year, forcing patients to resort to traditional medicine with only a few managing to get drugs from pharmacies.

“A department controlling Sh1.3 billion has only two ambulances functioning in the entire county. What a joke to our people,” he interjected.

The Chairman Committee on Public Administration Mohammed Buya, on the other hand, raised concerns of drugs theft in hospitals by a cartel he said is known to the CEC, since she has remained silent about it.

Mr Buya said Ms Hiribae’s silence on the ongoing rot in hospitals and in the Health department is a clear indication that she is compromised.

As required by law that a third of the assembly members approve an impeachment motion, 15 members of the assembly voted in favour of removing the Health executive, noting that they will not be bowed by court injunctions.

AD HOC COMMITTEE

The assembly will in the next seven days form an ad hoc committee to verify the allegations levelled against Ms Hiribae that have warranted her impeachment.

During the stipulated 10-day sittings by the committee, Ms Hiribae will be called upon to defend herself, after which recommendations will be presented to the assembly on whether or not the impeachment was justified.

If the assembly disapproves her grounds, the Speaker will then write a letter to the governor recommending her dismissal from office.

“After such an overwhelming vote by the assembly, the best thing for the CEC member should be to resign,” said the majority leader.

The Nation has established that the MCAs plan to impeach two more executive members.