Siaya county missed out on receiving presidential goodies due to poor planning that locked out grassroots leaders ahead of president Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit, local members of the county assembly have said.
The MCAs, led by Central Alego ward’s Leonard Oriaro and his Siaya township counterpart, Obiero Otare lamented that due to lack of a forum to prepare for the presidential visit, the leaders could not come up with a memorandum that captured the areas of interest where presidential intervention would have been sought.
Speaking yesterday during a funds drive in aid of Siaya township Boda Boda Savings and Credit Cooperative Society at Ahindi garden, the leaders said there were a lot of national government projects initiated by president Uhuru Kenyatta’s government that would have been launched officially had there been proper arrangement.
“During Uhuru Kenyatta’s first term, we had a multi million shilling Water project and the Siaya – Rwambwa road all of which have not been launched,” said Oriaro adding that even currently, the national government has a project of constructing stadia across the country and, with proper arrangements in place, Siaya town would have hosted the president and have him launch the construction of the Siaya stadium and used the forum to ask the national government to chip in.
He lamented that lack of cohesion amongst local leaders saw the area governor relegated to more of a “spanner boy” as leaders from other counties took the stage as a result of what they termed as haphazard arrangement that saw the president visit Bondo and later cross over to Ugunja, by passing the county headquarters that sits in the middle of the two sub counties.
The MCA said there were several issues at the county headquarters that the president’s visit and intervention would have helped trigger action, among them the moribund Barrack Obama University where, he added, the county government had sunk millions of tax payers’ money, only to realise it was a national government function.
Oriaro and Otare at the same time averred that the county assembly of Siaya will not be intimidated into supporting schemes aimed at pilfering public funds by the county government.
They said that there was a push by the executive wing of the county government to have the assembly pass a supplementary budget where over one billion shillings has been set aside for payment of pending bills that is allegedly owed to contractor.
“We shall scrutinize each and every payment and demand proof that indeed the job was done before clearing payment,” said Oriaro.
Oriaro said that the executive was wedging a propaganda war against the assembly members by using funds looted from the public coffers to bribe some youths to demonstrate against MCAs for refusing to pass a supplementary budget.
Siaya Township MCA, Obiero Otare said the assembly stand over the supplementary budget should not be misconstrued to mean that it was undermining the leadership of governor Cornel Rasanga.
He said all that the MCAs want was to promote the rule of law and proper use of public finances.
The harambee raised a total of sh. 363,350
By Philip Onyango.