The assembly today grilled Trade CEM, Jackline Koin (pictured below), over her alleged manipulation of a list of beaders to be enlisted under Ushanga Kenya initiative.
The MCAs lambasted the county minister from all the quarters claiming she ‘undercut’ them by enlisting some of their opponents.
Others demanded that the Minister did not consult them before enlisting the women into Ushanga Kenya Initiative.
Koin’s attempts to answer some of the questions and allegations directed to her fell on the hard rock as she could only be given one minute or two respond to seven questions or so.
The chair of the committee on Trade, Julius Moipaai, gave his ears to the MCAs and deliberately ignored the minister’s attention to respond to questions.
At some point, the acting county clerk Saisa Leboo, warned the editor of Kajiado News Update against taking live video of the proceedings that had turned nasty.
“Please, kindly stop taking live videos of the proceedings of the House. It is not allowed unless you have the permission. You can take notes only,” Saisa warned Kurgat Marindany.
Attempts by KNU reporter, Benjamin Tipatet, to challenge Saisa to elaborate his action on the media was ignored by the acting clerk.
“If Kurgat cannot record live proceedings of this committee, as the clerk, why don’t you give him permission,” said Tipatet.
Saisa only walked away after gagging our attempt to play our role as journalists.
Even as Saisa was attempting to block the media from doing its work, MCAs were at their act of accusing the Trade CECM and claiming she appointed her relatives and those of other CECMs.
Koin denied all the allegations heaped on her as people in the gallery watched in dismay as ward reps displayed absolute lack of understanding of the laid down procedure in formulating such an initiative.
The terms of reference of the Ushanga Kenya Secretariat are to undertake a mapping and profiling of the status of the bead industry in Kenya and more specifically in the target counties of pastoralist communities.
The subject counties are; Baringo, Kajiado, Narok, Samburu, Turkana and West Pokot which the government mapped out to benefit in the ambitious initiative.
The secretariat has also been empowered to promote entrepreneurship in the bid industry through training and capacity building of women in the rural setup of the aforesaid counties.
Kaputiei North MCA, Joshua Olowuasa, accused the minister of ‘high handedness’ and ‘failure’ to consult him when she was going round picking the women to be enlisted.
Talking to KNU separately, Olowuasa said he fought tirelessly to ensure Koin’s approval as CEC member by mobilising MCAs in the House.
“She is disrespectful to elected leaders who sourced for her employment. She cannot come to my ward and pick people without letting me know. I am not happy with her conduct,” said Olowuasa.
He said he has no other issues against the Trade CEC, and that he is only demanding that she must consult elected leaders.
Nominated MCA, Onesmus Ngogoyo, who spoke from the floor of the House, said he is perturbed that Koin decided to lock herself in a room somewhere in Kajiado and included her relatives in the list of beneficiaries.
“We have all the evidence regarding how that list was reached. We even know of a name of a wife of a senior official in this government who is on the list. That list is not authentic, and therefore it will not go anywhere,” said Ngogoyo.
Koin in her defense said stakeholders in the Ushanga Kenya Initiative are not the MCAs but the rural women, adding that ward reps have no role in its county formation.
“At the county secretariat, the deputy governor is the chairman while my role is to deputise him. County Secretary is a member along with two appointed women and two chief officers from Finance and Cooperatives departments in the county,” said Koin.
She went on; “When I was appointed as minister, some of the people in the list of 66 people had already been trained by the government. I should not be blamed on things that happened while I was away.”
Several MCAs from the North Constituency claimed the minister ignored their region “as if we are not part of this Kajiado”. They demanded transparency in the initiative.
Koin said terms of reference are clear that the target group is the rural folk.
“In fact there are women from the North and their names are in the list in bold letters,” said Koin.
Earlier on Ngogoyo had told KNU that the minister ignored Kajiado North where indigenous Maasai are.
“What we are saying is that even members of the Kikuyu community are involved in beading works. I should have been happy if several of them were included,” said Ngogoyo.
The Minister said the county government is putting up a Sh800 million market in Ongata Rongai that women in Meto, Irkelunyeti, Emurkeya, Sankiraine, Mosiro and Ewuaso cannot access.
She said the county government has several ambitious programmes for youth and women in; Taka ni Mali (Urban), Tunza Mama (urban), Soko Safi (Urban/Rural), Health (women to earn from cleaning hospitals), Porridge Making (in schools) and lastly Ushanga that should directly involve rural women.