Taita-Taveta Senator Mr. Jones Mwaruma has termed the proposed Sh42 billion Mzima 2 water project as a mirage after the national government failed to allocate any money in the 2019/2020 financial year.
The outspoken senator said the government has merely sent a funding proposal to Exim Bank of China which was yet to be approved.
Speaking in Voi town on Wednesday, the senator said Mzima 2 project which was a key campaign pledge by Jubilee government would not take off due to lack of funding, adding that the Cabinet Secretary for Water Simon Chelagui had confirmed that there was no money allocated in the budget.
“This project looks like a mirage. There is no money allocated despite the hype surrounding it,” he said.
Once completed, Mzima 2 was expected to ease pressure from the aging Mzima 1 project which supplies Mombasa County. The project is also expected to bring to and end the perennial water woes in the region.
Mwaruma stated that there was need to fulfil the pledges made to the local residents by Jubilee government.
The senator further expressed his concerns over the dismal use of development money by the county government. He noted that in 2018/19 fiscal year, the auditor general has raised serious questions on usage and absorption capacities of the county government.
“We were listed as one of the poorest performing counties in terms of funds utilization and absorption capacities. This is unacceptable,” he said.
The senator also said the county Finance Act 2018 was an impediment to investment and business growth due to the high rates introduced. He stated that it was unjustifiable for the county to charge double the rates traders were used to.
“When we are unable to utilize our allocation, we have no business increasing the rates charged locally,” he said.
By Wagema Mwangi