Members of the public on Thursday gave the Siaya county assembly’s Lake Region Economic Bloc Bill public participation forum a wide berth, forcing the event to be cancelled.
Two public engagement fora, one at the Siaya Agricultural Training Centre (ATC) and another at the Bondo County Hall had to end without an input from the public, as the County Assembly officials, led by the Chairman of the budget committee, Sylvester Madialo cancelled the events.
Signs of the poor turnout was first witnessed at the Siaya ATC, where the committee was to hold its first sitting before proceeding to Bondo when only six people turned up for the event, a mandatory legal process in law making.
After several hours of waiting with the hope that more people will turn up, the Budget committee chair, flanked by a handful members of the county assembly and staff called it off and drove to Bondo hoping for a successful sitting.
The committee was to be met with a shock as there was no single member of the public in the hall.
After several hours of waiting, Madialo, the Usonga MCA called it off and the officials drove back to Siaya.
Speaking to the media later, Madialo expressed shock at the turn of events, adding that the assembly had advertised the events on the media.
Madialo however, said that his committee will still receive written submissions from members of the public over the LREB bill that, if passed by the assembly, will enable the county government ratify the regional economic block.
“We will take the views and written submissions from the public for debate in the assembly” he said.
The LREB is an economic block that brings together 14 counties around the Lake Victoria region; that is Kakamega, Kisii, Nyamira, Migori, Kisumu and Vihiga. Others are Siaya, Bomet, Busia, Homa Bay, Trans Nzoia, Kericho, Nandi and Bungoma.
By Philip Onyango