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Kitui County Assembly vets nominees for County Executive Members

KNA     The in-tray of the proposed nominee to head Health and Sanitation docket in Kitui County is full with demands for securing healthcare workers’ well-being as the country grapples with the second Covid-19 wave.

The Health and Sanitation Nominee Dr. Winnie Syombua Kitetu, who hails from Kitui West, told the vetting committee chaired by Speaker George Ndotto that her priority will be securing the safety of the frontline soldiers with preventive and protective gears.

Speaking during the vetting exercise held on Friday at the precincts of Kitui County Assembly, Dr Kitetu, who vied for the 2013 Women Rep seat and lost under NARC party, said that preventive treatment has been adversely affected since the first coronavirus case was detected in the country in March 2020.

“We are on the throes of a serious pandemic that is a threat to humanity globally. Locally, we have been hit hard by Covid-19. We need to re-think our priorities in offering support to healthcare workers and taking care of our patients,” she said.

Dr Kitetu, herself a trained pharmacist and clinical psychologist, allayed fears of doctors’ flight to lucrative positions outside Kitui County adding that she will leverage on her vast experience to have them continue plying their trade in Kitui.

When challenged by Speaker Ndotto on how she will balance political support and her technocratic skills to ensure the Health budget is ring fenced and not diverted to other unintended uses she answered, “I am not a politician. However, I will use my ingenuity and professionalism to ensure the health budget is well utilized for the benefit of Wananchi. I will lean on the assembly’s oversight role to navigate the murky waters of politics versus offering services to the public.”

However, when hard pressed why she is leaving her lucrative job at the Aga Khan Hospital in Mombasa, Dr Kitetu said that she intends to retire in her home county and give the best professional services to her people leveraging on her experience of over 30 years in the Health sector.

Majority Leader Peter Kilonzo, who doubles as the Yatta/Kwa Vonza MCA in his remarks questioned the nominee on her understanding of Universal Healthcare (UHC) and how it would help the vulnerable access affordable and quality health services in the county.

Responding, Kitetu singled out the Kitui County Health Insurance Cover (K-CHIC) as a replica of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover saying that she will sit with a team of experts to ascertain its efficacy before implementation in a bid to save the tax payers money. 

On Friday, Kitui County Assembly vetted seven nominees for the position of County Executive Committee members and county attorney in a move aimed at restructuring operations at the executive.

The other nominees include Stephen Maithya (Education), Samson Nyamai (Lands), Esther Kilonzi (agriculture) Hellen Kitheka (Tourism), Meshack Muthusi (Trade) and Caroline Musango (County Attorney).

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