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MCAs want county assemblies to be financially independent

Murang’a MCAs have called for strengthening of independence of county assemblies to enable them play the oversight role effectively.

The  MCAs who expressed their views after they were taken through the Building Bridges Initiative report on Tuesday claimed that funds set aside for assemblies should not be channeled through the county executive.

The  Gatanga MCA, Nahashon Gachuhi said funds meant for the assemblies should be handled by the county legislative arm of the county government adding some governors usually try to hold on to assemblies’ funds to frustrate their operations.

Gachuhi added that the BBI should factor needs for county assemblies to ensure devolution is guarded especially from wastage of funds.

“The oversight role of county assemblies has been crippled due to funds which are channeled through the executive arm of the county government. Let independence of the assemblies be affirmed through the BBI,” added Gachuhi.

On his part, Kigumo MCA Kairu Kimani said wards should be allocated funds to enable the ward representatives initiate development projects.

He said currently, the MCAs are left at the mercy of governors to have their wards factored in terms of development in their areas of representation.

“Let’s some funds be factored to spearhead development in the wards. Currently we rely on the governor who may opt to neglect some wards especially the ones which did not support him during the elections,” added Kimani.

During the session, the MCAs were enlightened about the BBI report by a team of experts from the BBI secretariat.

Led by Dr. Stephen Ndungu, the team asked MCAs to understand the content of the report before reacting on it and making their contributions.

The team is visiting several county assemblies to educate MCAs on the proposals in the BBI report to give them chance to highlight their views before final draft is drawn.

The  Nominated MCA, Muthoni Maina proposed that deputy governors should be a candidate who emerges second in the gubernatorial race claiming that currently governors choose their friends as their running mates.

“Deputy Governors should be appointed from the first runners of the same position to avoid confidential interests when governors appoint their running mates, “said the MCA.

Muthoni further observed that the deputy governors should have designated roles assigned to them and that the report should also uphold gender equality.

Another nominated MCA, Lucy Nyambura pointed out how the national anthem has nowadays been disregarded especially in political rallies and when raising and lowering of the national flag.

She noted that several years back both the national flag and anthem were accorded maximum respect compared to present times.

The team promised to take into consideration all suggestions by MCAs and be factored in the BBI report for further debate.

By Bernard Munyao/Joyserah Maina

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