During Senate proceedings on September 16, Senators expressed their anger arguing that he had no powers to issue the order.
The legislators rose one after the other to term Oparanya as incompetent to chair the CoG, with some throwing insults.
“This is clearly an abuse of authority. The Council of Governors is not the employer of any employees of counties. They are employees of different county public boards,” Senator Moses Wetangula stated.
The legislators warned governors against following Oparanya’s orders, adding that they would be personally liable for any loss of life arising from the closure.
“On the letter he has written to the governors, I want to address my Governor Charity Ngilu, don’t touch that letter. Don’t try to close a single hospital in Kitui because if you do, we will come for you,” Senator Enoch Wambua warned.
“We are not just dealing with a failed leader at the CoG. we are dealing with a big question without an answer. Governor Oparanya is not new to reckless statements,” he added.
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has already effected the controversial order and sent county staff on leave.
Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga stated that it was unfortunate that the revenue impasse at the Senate had forced counties to grind to a halt.
Senators wondered why governors had resolved to shut down services yet President Uhuru Kenyatta had a day earlier promised Ksh50 billion during a meeting in State House on September 15.
“The CS for Treasury should also stop joking. The Supreme Court did say that he can give money to the counties. Section 134 of the Public Finance Management Act authorises him. He is now awaiting authority from the National Assembly, shame on him,” Mandera Senator Mohamed Mahamud stated.
Senator Johnson Sakaja expressed shock that Oparanya, who was once the Minister of Planning, hence he understood revenue division processes, could act in such a manner.
“We are urging Governor Oparanya to really come back to his senses between now and March 2021,” Sakaja remarked.