Residents and activists oppose Sh65 million Taita Taveta County project

The residents and activists said the project was an example of funds being allocated to wrong priorities and wastage of public resources.

The human rights activists and Sauti Ya Wanawake Wundanyi sub-county officials claimed the public was not involved in the adoption of the project.

Residents and human rights activists have opposed a Sh65 million project to expand the county assembly.

They claimed the project was not in the county integrated development plan of 2013-2018, as required by the law.

The residents and activists said the project was an example of funds being allocated to wrong priorities and wastage of public resources.

But the county assembly clerk, Michael Ngala, defended the project.

Mr Ngala said the three-storey building would house staff and MCAs’ committee rooms so that they are able to offer quality services to the electorate.

“The construction of the new offices is also part of the expansion programme being undertaken by the county assembly, which does not have enough space for the staff and MCAs,” said the clerk.

The human rights activists and Sauti Ya Wanawake Wundanyi sub-county officials claimed the public was not involved in the adoption of the project.

In a petition to the county assembly speaker, Meshack Maganga, MCAs, the Controller of Budget and Governor Granton Samboja, the vice chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mathew Mwabili, former civic leader Leonard Mwayongo and woman leader Lydia Mwamberi claimed the assembly did not consult the residents of the county on the project.

Critics of the project said they read mischief in the county assembly’s failure to conduct public participation sessions.

“We believe that the omission was deliberately occasioned by the county assembly to obscure transparency and accountability in the implementation of the project,” said the petitioners.

They alleged that the assembly had breached the Constitution and disregarded the principals of the Public Finance and Management (PFMA) Act

“This is misallocation of funds to wrong priorities. It would have been prudent to utilise the enormous resources for the provision of much-needed services such as water, education, health, roads and empowerment of vulnerable groups,” said the petitioners.

They demanded copies of Hansard reports on the sittings of the county assembly and the minutes showing public that participation in the four sub-counties was done.

~ Standard Media Group 

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