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Assembly approves Ward Development Fund

Kakamega County Assembly has become the latest to support a petition fronted by County Assemblies Forum (CAF) to entrench Ward Development Fund in the 2010 Kenyan constitution.

CAF submitted a petition to all 47 county assemblies for ratification and approval before submission to the National Assembly for incorporation of the County Ward Equitable Development Fund in the proposed amendment Bill.

The petition was tabled in the county assembly as a motion by majority leader Philip Maina who is also the MCA for Marama Central and seconded by leader of Minority, and MCA for West Kabras David Ndakwa backing it up that a law to legitimize Ward Development Fund was necessary.

“In order for us to realize the objectives of devolution, we must involve residents in all the wards in the management of these resources. They pay taxes and these monies must be utilized in wards for greater transformation on development projects,” he noted.

MCA for Idakho South Stephen Mukhala explained that once a law is enacted to establish a Ward Fund, MCAs will have a direct say in planning and management of projects in their respective wards.

“This does not mean that we will not carry out our oversight mandate effectively, in fact we will oversee and report to the Assembly on the progress of ward based projects and address challenges,” he said.

The MCAs lauded Member of Parliament for Matungulu Stephen Mule and MP for Gichugu, Gichimu Githinji for presenting a legislative proposal to the Parliament to amend Article 204 of the Constitution of Kenya through a parliamentary initiative in order to entrench the National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NGCDF), National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAF) and the Senate Oversight Fund and the Economic Stimulus Empowerment Fund in the Constitution.

The Controller of Budget maintains that it is against the law for MCAs to run or manage Ward Fund Kitty in their respective areas, outlining that their roles are strictly representation, Legislation and oversight.

A section of Governors across the country are also backing the Ward Development Fund by expressing willingness to set aside funds for the same.

Kakamega Governor Fernandez Barasa has committed to inject Sh20 million to each ward through Ward Improvement Fund Kitty.

In the current set up, Governors implement development projects and programs through line departments from County Executive Committee (CEC) members to Community Administrators and village stakeholders.

By Moses Wekesa

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