Dr Alfred Nganga Mutua
1st Governor of Machakos
Assumed office
27 March 2013
DeputyFrancis Maliti
Preceded byvarious mayors and council chairmen
Personal details
Born (1970-08-22) 22 August 1970 (age 52)
Machakos, Kenya
Political partyMaendeleo Chap Chap
Alma materWhitworth College (BA)
EWU (MSc)
UWS (PhD)

Alfred Nganga Mutua (born 22 August 1970) is a Kenyan politician who is the governor of Machakos County. Mutua was the Kenya government spokesman before resigning in 2012 to run for the office of Machakos County Governor.

Early life

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Mutua was born in Masii, Machakos County. He has lived, studied and worked in Kenya, the United States, Australia and the United Arab Emirates and has been a businessman, lecturer, civil servant and politician.

Education

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He was educated at Dagoretti High School (O level) and at Jamhuri High School (A level). He obtained his BA in journalism from Whitworth College in the United States and his MSc in communication from Eastern Washington University. He received his doctorate in communication and media from the University of Western Sydney in Australia.

Professional career

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Journalism

Mutua began his career as a journalist while still in high school, publishing his first story in the daily newspapers at the age of 15. After high school, he wrote features for The Sunday Nation, Standard Newspaper and the defunct Kenya Times Newspaper. In 1989, at the age of 19, he registered his first company Golden Dreams Company and started publishing a newsletter/magazine “Golden Times.”

While in the United States for further education, he published stories for several American newspapers and started video production work, producing “An African in America” documentary in 1996. He worked for several TV stations including PBS in Seattle, Washington. He later worked for Nation Media Group as a reporter and features writer from 1997.

Later in Australia, he was published by the Sydney Morning Herald and worked as a foreign correspondent for SBS TV's international magazine show Dateline. He travelled extensively covering major happenings in the world.

He also lectured at the University of Western Sydney, Macquarie University and several TAFE colleges in Sydney. In 2002, he was poached from Sydney and moved to The United Arab Emirates as an assistant professor of Communication and Media at the Prestigious Zayed University. While in the UAE - Dubai and Abu Dhabi, he also undertook research in the Middle East and traveled to Oman and Beirut, Lebanon to present papers and research on the use of media and communication for peace and development.

From 1999, he wrote a popular weekly travel feature “Msafiri” for the Friday edition of the Daily Nation Newspaper and became a contributor of opinion pieces for the Sunday Nation. In 2003, Mutua undertook consultancy work at the then Nation TV, training and assisting journalists transition to modern broadcasting standards as the station changed its name and look to NTV.

Media, Film Work, Books and Magazines

While in Dubai, Mutua continued producing films and in 2002 he made, “And the Desert Smiled," a film about always hoping and winning. Later on in 2005, he revived his company Golden Dreams Company and made Kenya's first modern action TV series “Cobra Squad” which gained a huge following in the region. He also produced other shows including Beba Beba and “How to be Rich in Africa.”

He published a fashion magazine PASSION and wrote a book: “How to be Rich in Africa and other secrets of survival” among many other ventures that included the East African Music Awards in 2011.

He is also the Proprietor of Woni TV station and has diverse interests in Hoteliering, Aviation and Real Estate.

Civil servant

Government spokesperson and public communications secretary

Mutua was appointed the first official government spokesperson of Kenya in June 2002 by the then President Mwai Kibaki. He served in that capacity until 3 September 2012. He was also the public communications secretary and head of the Office of Public Communications in the Office of the President. He was charged with the duty of collecting information and analyzing events within the set-up of the government. Essentially, his work entailed communicating information to and from media, government ministries, state corporations and the public on behalf his employer, the State. Under his stewardship in this office, Mutua established a public campaign to promote patriotism, Najivunia Kuwa Mkenya.

He is also remembered for running a Nairobi beautification program which included beautifying Uhuru Highway, repainting zebra crossings, installation of street CCTVs and most notably setting up a building address system in Nairobi CBD.[1][2][3]

Mutua was also mandated with a couple of presidential tasks, among the notable ones was to chair a task force that was charged with ensuring that Mombasa was ready for the 2007 IAAF athletics championships held in Mombasa.

Mutua served at a time when the country was undergoing major conflicts and scandals and he managed to raise the stature of the office by ensuring members of public and media had access to government information.

Political career

Mutua became the first governor of Machakos County, which is one of the 47 counties established under the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and was sworn in on 27 March 2013. He was elected on a Wiper Democratic Movement Party ticket alongside Mr. Bernard Kiala as his Deputy Governor.

In August 2016, Mutua formerly launched a political party called Maendeleo Chap Chap Party.[4][5] This was a culmination of several months of speculation[6][7][8] among the Kenyan media and general public that Mutua had abandoned Wiper Democratic Movement – the party that had sponsored him for his election as Machakos Governor in 2013. Mutua's action of launching and supporting a political party other than the one that sponsored him was considered controversial. He was expected to vacate office and seek a fresh mandate as Machakos County Governor; being sponsored by his new political party in line with Kenyan electoral laws. When Mutua did not vacate office to seek fresh re-election, Wiper Democratic Movement Party's disciplinary committee found him culpable of launching and supporting another political party. The disciplinary committee deemed him to have resigned from the party.[9][10]

In November 2016, a notice to impeach Mutua[11][12] was filed in the Machakos County Assembly by a member Mr. Stephen Muthuka. This was after the motion notice was signed by 46 out of 59 Machakos county assembly members – meeting the two thirds threshold for an impeachment motion to progress.[13] Included among the reasons for the impeachment motion were alleged breach[14] of the Kenyan constitution, procurement laws and devolution laws.

Several days before Mutua's impeachment motion at the Machakos County Assembly, over half of the assembly's 59 members travelled out of the country in what was considered to be a tactical move for scuttling the impeachment process.[15][16] In the absence of 32 members of the county assembly, the impeachment motion was debated[17] with Mutua being represented by his lawyer. When the final vote was taken 26 out of 27 members of the assembly voted to impeach Mutua.[18][19] This however was too few votes to legally impeach Mutua as Governor of Machakos County since the threshold of 40 members of the county assembly voting in favor of the motion was not attained.

On June 10, 2017, reports came up that he never formally resign from Wiper Democratic Movement before forming his Maendeleo Chap Chap Party. This was a day after an IEBC Tribunal nullified the candidature of his main challenger for the 2017 mid term election.

The High Court reinstated Wavinya Ndeti as a candidate in the general election.

2017 gubernatorial election

Mutua contested the Machakos County Governor position for a second term in the 2017 general election against Wavinya Ndeti and his former Deputy – Bernard Kiala. Mutua was declared winner amid claims of election rigging. This resulted in a protracted election petition process that saw high court judge Aggrey Muchelule, annul Mutua's election.[20] In June 2018, The court of appeal bench comprising judges W. Ouko, M. Warsame and S. Gatembu Kairu nullified[21] the election of Alfred Mutua. Subsequently, Alfred Mutua contested the ruling of the Court of Appeal at the Supreme court. This legal contest was considered an epic battle at the Kenyan apex court.[22] The Supreme Court of Kenya would later on December 21, 2018, overturn the Court of Appeal ruling to reinstate Mutua's gubernatorial election win.[23]

Stewardship of public funds

Though Mutua's stewardship of public funds as Governor for Machakos County saw the Auditor General raise numerous queries on the propriety of public expenditure throughout his first term, it turned out that his strategy of fiscal management was one of the best in the government.[24][25][26][27] For example, in 2014, he chose to purchase second hand vans and retrofitted them into ambulances which enabled him to have 120 ambulances at the cost of a few new ones.[28] This got him into trouble with the Auditor General, but was a big win for Machakos residents who got at least one ambulance in every location.[29]

In the years 2015, 2019 and 2020, Mutua was ranked the best performing governor in Kenya.[30][31][32] In 2015, a survey carried out to measure the successes of county government in satisfying their constituents also ranked Mutua's Machakos the best.[33]

Gubernatorial Tenure Performance

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In his tenure as the Governor of Machakos, great strides have been made in the improvement of infrastructure. Through lobbying to international development partners, collaborations with the National Government and County Government initiatives, Machakos County now boasts of over 200 kilometers of new tarmac roads and over 8,000 kilometers of graded roads that have greatly increased access across the county.

Interventions in the Agricultural sector have seen the people of Machakos move from being dependent on government food relief during drought and famine to being self-sufficient and trading their surplus produce with neighboring counties of Kitui, Makueni and Kajiado. Policies such as subsidized fertilizers to the farmers, free hybrid seedlings from the county government and provision of extension services from qualified agricultural officers has seen farmers increase yields, engage in value addition for their produce.

Provision of water to the people of Machakos has remained a core to Mutua's administration. With over 500 solar powered boreholes dug and equipped between 2013 and 2020 in all sub counties, 240 dams and pans and 216 weirs, the water problem is far from over, but great strides have been made . Plans are underway to ensure that by 2022, water reticulation to markets and homes of Machakos residents is complete with over 360 kilometers of pipes already laid.

A leader keen on empowering lives of the youth through education, Mutua has initiated scholarships for the youth in Machakos wishing to pursue courses at Certificate, Diploma and Degree levels. Collaborations with International Universities for Machakos youth at subsidized costs have been made that have provided them with international exposure.

To equip the youth with employable skills, in 2016, Mutua initiated a FREE vocational Training Program where Machakos youth can study for free in all Government vocational colleges within the county. This has seen a visible increase in skilled plumbers, dress makers, mechanics, masons from the county, who continue to export their skills across the country, becoming productive Kenyan taxpayers whose success trickles down to ultimately improve their families’ quality of life.

A sports and recreational enthusiast, Mutua has made great strides in promoting Machakos as a premier sports tourism hub. The iconic Machakos Stadium, that from 2014 to 2017 remained the only FIFA accredited stadium built by a county government, has hosted international matches ranging from CECAFA, World Cup Women's qualifiers and Rugby tournaments. Mutua has also initiated the construction of 8 stadiums across the Sub-counties, complete with staffed sports academies that will go a long way in nurturing the sporting talent of the youth in every Sub-county. Construction in Mavoko, Kinyui, Masii and Ikombe has begun. The Machakos Peoples’ Park which was built in his first term has won awards as the best public park in Kenya and is the starting point for the annual Tour De Machakos and home to the popular film festival Machakos fest.

At the forefront on the fight against cancer, Mutua has initiated cancer awareness campaigns across all the Sub-counties, with over 3,000 residents tested. Through the health centre rehabilitations program that has seen all health centers equipped, staffed and stocked with medicines, residents can now get screened for cancer for free in all health centres.

Machakos became the first regional government to open a Cancer Centre and now the Machakos Cancer treatment and Research facility is fully operational and providing free treatment registered under the Universal Health Coverage (UHC). His emphasis on health has transformed Machakos to be the premier health county on Kenya.

Mutua's tenure as Machakos Governor, has seen Machakos county transform into a solid investment hub. Investors, both local and international have gained confidence in Machakos County. Land value in Machakos has appreciated exponentially and under his guidance, strong structures and transformative policies that have continually uplifted the lives of the residents of Machakos continue to be developed.

Due to his development work and his focus in rolling poverty, Dr. Alfred Mutua has been recognized several times and as recently as September, 2019, as the leading Governor in Kenya in terms of development and leadership.

Anti-Corruption Crusader

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Mutua has spoken and written about the effects of corruption on African country.  He is a champion in the fight against corruption which he views as one of the major causes for slowdown in development and entrenchment of poverty in Kenya and many African nations.

Mutua introduced the argument of lifestyle audits for all Government officials and up to date, he is the only Kenyan government official to take himself to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to avail details of his wealth and to request for a lifestyle audit to be conducted on him and his close relatives.

President Uhuru Kenyatta also echoes Mutua's sentiments and said that all Government officials should be subjected to a lifestyle audit.

A strong believer in the rule of law, Mutua continues to speak against corruption and to educate the public that when they vote for corrupt leaders or accept corrupt money in fund raisers, they are enslaving themselves to years of suffering.

Presidential Ambitions

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Mutua announced his entry into the 2022 Presidential Elections on 6 September 2020. He will be seeking the people's mandate to serve as the 5th President of the Republic of Kenya.

Offering creative and innovative ideas to govern the country, Mutua pledged to help Kenyans to grow wealth and completely eradicate corruption - the vice that has greatly affected service delivery in the country.

Running under a youthful and transformative platform, Mutua enjoys massive support among the young and middle-aged citizens and is seeking a fresh input and perspective into Kenyan politics and strives to shift political mindsets and propel Kenya from a third world into the first world.

References

  1. ^ "Makeover seeks to restore Nairobi's green status". Business Daily.
  2. ^ "Cost effective ideas to beautify the city". The Standard.
  3. ^ "ALFRED MUTUA: IMPROVEMENT OF NAIROBI IMAGE & SECURITY: LAUNCH OF NAIROBI FACELIFT PROGRAM". YouTube. 10 July 2009.
  4. ^ "Mutua waves Wiper goodbye". Daily Nation.
  5. ^ "Mutua dumps Wiper, revs up Chap Chap engine". Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Governor Mutua shells out millions to launch 'Maendeleo Chap Chap' on live TV". Nairobi News.
  7. ^ "Governor Mutua under fire for launching Maendeleo Chap Chap". Citizentv.co.ke.
  8. ^ "Mutua's Maendeleo Chap Chap could be political party, after all". hivisasa.com.
  9. ^ "Mutua kicked out of Kalonzo's Wiper". Daily Nation.
  10. ^ "Governor Mutua, four MPs partyless as Wiper kicks them out". Citizentv.co.ke.
  11. ^ "Machakos MCA files notice of motion to impeach Governor Mutua". The Star.
  12. ^ Mulwa, Erastus M. "MCA seeks to have Governor Mutua impeached over graft claims". The Standard.
  13. ^ "46 Machakos MCAs sign motion to impeach Governor Mutua". Nairobi News.
  14. ^ "Notice to impeach Alfred Mutua filed". Daily Nation.
  15. ^ Mulwa, Erastus. "Quorum hitch feared in Governor Alfred Mutua removal bid". The Standard.
  16. ^ "31 reps in Tanzania, scuttling bid to sack Mutua but debate opens". The Star.
  17. ^ "MCAs debate Mutua ouster motion". Daily Nation.
  18. ^ Mulwa, Erastus M. "Quorum hitch saves Governor Mutua from impeachment". The Standard.
  19. ^ "MCAs fail to raise 2/3rds majority to impeach Machakos governor Mutua". YouTube. 23 November 2016.
  20. ^ "Machakos Governor Mutua's re-election upheld". Citizentv.co.ke.
  21. ^ "Election Petition Appeal 8 of 2018 – Kenya Law". kenyalaw.org. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  22. ^ Kilonzo, Kethi. "Epic battle at the Supreme Court â€" Mutua vs Wavinya". The Standard.
  23. ^ "Supreme Court upholds Mutua's win – VIDEO". Nation.co.ke.
  24. ^ Report of the Auditor General on The Financial Statements of County Executive of Machakos for the Year Ended 30 June 2016. Nairobi: Auditor General's Office. 2018.
  25. ^ Report of the Auditor General on The Financial Statements of County Executive of Machakos for the Year Ended 30 June 2015. Nairobi: Auditor General's Office. 2016.
  26. ^ Report of the Auditor General on The Financial Statements of County Executive of Machakos for the Year Ended 30 June 2014. Nairobi: Auditor General's Office. 2015.
  27. ^ Report of the Auditor General on The Financial Statements of Machakos County Government and its defunct local authorities for the Year Ended 30 June 2013. Nairobi: Auditor General's Office. 2014.
  28. ^ "Governor Mutua unveils ambulances for Machakos county". Group Kenya.
  29. ^ "Alfred Mutua: Paradox of governor in sleaze list 'for a just cause'". Daily Nation. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  30. ^ "List Of Excellence, Top County Governments and Their Governors Named". Kenyans.co.ke. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  31. ^ "Machakos development record is not magic says Governor Mutua". Monitor. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  32. ^ "New report reveals best and worst performing governors". Citizen TV Online. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  33. ^ "New survey reveals the top 15 counties where citizens are happiest". Nation Online. Retrieved 28 April 2015.