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Nyanza counties accused of giving development a wide berth.

County governments in the Nyanza region have failed the expectations of the electorate by allocating virtually all the resources towards recurrent expenditure, Ugunja member of parliament, Opiyo Wandayi has said.
Wandayi, the Orange Democratic Movement secretary for political affairs, claimed that this, coupled with the conversion of the county governments into employment bureaux for cronies of governors, had made the devolved units lag behind in development as some units in other parts of the country continued to thrive.
Speaking to the media in Ugunja town Saturday, Wandayi said it was disheartening that the employment at the counties was targeted at people whose skills are not required.
The chairman of the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee said an audit of the people being employed reveals that most of the staff being employed were not essential.
“If this employment was targeted at essential sectors such as health, agriculture and education, we would understand,” he said adding that currently, the health, agriculture and early childhood education sectors lack qualified staff in the counties.
“There is a worrying trend that needs to be changed as a matter of urgency. That is the trend of allocating county government funds almost exclusively to recurrent expenditure,” he said adding that a lot of funds are dedicated  for day to day operations and salaries, not development.
He said that the trend must not be allowed to continue as the counties of Siaya, Homabay, Migori and Kisumu will be left behind and challenged leaders from the Nyanza region to rise up and ensure that the public get what they deserved.
“As leaders, we must address this matter squarely,” he said and appealed to the county governments to consider taking a paradigm shift in development matters and to focus their energies to the sectors that would add value to the people living in the counties.

Wandayi  called for action to ensure that adequate resources channelled to the counties are strictly used for development programmes.
A fortnight ago, the chairman of the Orange Democratic Movement, John Mbadi faulted the governors of the four counties for giving the locals a raw deal, six years into devolution.
Mbadi who was speaking at Asembo in Rarieda said it was frustrating that though the champions who fought for devolution hailed from the four counties, there was nothing to show for it.

By Philip Onyango.

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